The Germany automotive smart keys market is expected to register a CAGR of over 10%, during the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- Smart keys are an integrated computerized system that uses chips and sensors to open the doors and start the engine of the vehicle without the use of physical keys. Smart keys are often confused with Keyless Go, a term for an automotive technology that allows the driver to lock and unlock a vehicle without using the corresponding smart key buttons.
- Smart keys are also enabled to start the engine by simply pressing the ignition button located next to the steering column. Nowadays, major models, tailgate gets lifted by waving a foot underneath the rear bumper, making it convenient to load baggage when the hands are occupied.
- A critical driver of the market in smart key systems is the convenience that the smart key provides. The keys need not be kept in the hand to enjoy the features, and people enjoy the fact that the keys can be kept in the pocket or bag without requiring to reach around before getting into the vehicle.
- Germany is the growth engine of the Germany automotive industry, in 2019 German automakers produced 4.6 million cars which is the highest number in Germany after Spain with 2.3 million cars.
Key Market Trends
Electric Vehicle will Drive the Market
The electric vehicles market in Germany is well supported by the government in the form of funding for research, infrastructure, and subsidies for car buyers.
According to the Nationale Plattform Elektromobilität (NPE) plan, the public subsidies available to car buyers are around Euro 1.2 billion. In addition to that further Euro 300 million is being spent on upgrading e-mobility infrastructure. The tax for EV owners includes zero-rated vehicle tax for ten years and income tax breaks on charging cars at work. Whereas, the target is to convert 20% of the government’s vehicle fleet into EVs by 2020. Also, the number of AC charging stations is increasing in the country which is set to reach 70,000 by 2020.
Major OEMs in the country have an ambitious future plan for electric mobility Such as Volkswagen is planning to introduce 20 new e-models by 2020, while the BMW plan is to produce a plug-in hybrid version of its every major model.
Whereas, Tesla which is the leader in BEV in the world has updated its mobile app to support Model 3, as this model have a phone-based unlocking system along with a key card system as a backup. The Model 3 mobile app supports various functions such as automatic locking and unlocking, driving.
Security Risks is Hindering the Market Growth.
Along with the convenience the smart keys provide this smart entry system are very easy targets for the thieves as with the help of radio transmitters, as they perform some relay car hacks to capture the signal from the car’s fob to stole the car.
In 2019, German General Automobile Club tested more than 237 keyless car models, in which 230 can be unlocked and started by using relay technology. Some of the cars which can be stolen by this method according to the club are the Ford Fiesta and Focus, Volkswagen Golf, and Nissan Qashqai.
Whereas any digital key has the requirement of a carrier such as a smartphone, any thieve can easily install malware through root permission to revise the information in the carrier, and through that, it can even control the wireless transmission between the carrier and car just like with any relay.
To overcome the threat of theft many market players are introducing their new and updated keyless entry system to make the car theft-proof. For instance, In 2018, Bosch launched its Perfectly Keyless system, in this technology a virtual key is being stored in the smartphone when the car recognizes the owner’s smartphone through sensors then it open the vehicle. For protection against theft, the system blocks signals from other smartphones and any other electronic devices.
Similarly, in 2019, Ford introduces new enhanced key fob on new Fiesta and Focus to prevent these models from relay attack The keyless entry fobs will be disabled when not in use to counter the relay attacks, Thanks to its motion sensor inside the key fob that triggers a sleep mode when it detects it is been stationary for longer than 40 seconds.
The Germany automotive smart keys market is consolidated due to the presence of many local and global players such as Continental AG, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, ALPHA Corporation amongst others. The market is transforming at rapid pace smartphones are being used as a key and companies are incorporating smart key in the apps. For instance,
- In 2020, NXP Semiconductors has launched its new digital key solution by which smartphones, key fobs, smartwatches, and fitness trackers can able to unlock and start the cars. The new system works on the near field communications (NFC) technology
- In 2019, Car Keys Express has added two new remote keys to its portfolio of aftermarket products. The new keys have integrated remotes and retractable blades.
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