Development of Self-driving Cars to Steer Motor Vehicle Sensors Industry

Motor vehicle sensors are sensors used to monitor a wide range of automotive markers. By monitoring various automotive applications, motor vehicle sensors detect nascent problems and thus help prevent major damage occurring due to negligence. Motor vehicle sensors monitor aspects such as the car’s position with respect to other road users and the car’s speed, steering input, engine temperature and function, exhaust temperature and function, parking distance, etc. The data generated by these sensors is processed by the car’s onboard computer, which has become a crucial component of vehicles these days due to the rapid adoption of automotive electronics.

According to Transparency Market Research, the global motor vehicle sensor market is expected to reach a valuation of US$25.4 bn by the end of 2018. The growing popularity of motor vehicle sensors is demonstrated by the market’s robust expected CAGR of 11.90% between 2012 and 2018. 

Q.What are the key drivers for the global motor vehicle sensor market?

One of the key drivers for the global motor vehicle sensor market is the steady technological progression in the field of automotive electronics. Due to the incorporation of increasingly powerful and efficient onboard computers, utilizing advanced motor vehicle sensors has never been easier. This has driven research into making motor vehicle sensors more refined and reliable, driving the global motor vehicle sensors market.

The rising purchasing power of consumers has also resulted in wider demand for premium automobiles, which use more motor vehicle sensors than low-cost vehicles to ensure the comfort and safety of the vehicle’s occupants. This is likely to remain a key driver for the global motor vehicle sensors market in the coming years, as the demand for premium cars is rising in dynamic economies such as China, South Korea, and India, where there is a significant scope for expansion of the automotive industry.

Q.How has the progress of the self-driving cars industry affected the motor vehicle sensor market?

The development of self-driving cars has been vital for the global motor vehicle sensors market. Self-driving cars are naturally even more reliant on motor vehicle sensors than conventional vehicles, since they are designed to function without driver intervention. As a result, the steady progress of self-driving cars has been massively beneficial for the global motor vehicle sensors market, as illustrated by two key investment events in August 2016.

On August 16, Velodyne LiDAR announced an investment of US$150 mn by Ford and Baidu, China’s premium search engine. LiDAR is the most commonly used navigation and spatial awareness technology in self-driving cars, and development of the field represents a crucial advance for the self-driving cars industry. The investment will allow Velodyne to provide LiDAR systems at lower costs, helping the development of self-driving cars and thus helping generate demand for multiple types of motor vehicle sensors. 


On August 22, Quanergy Systems, also a LiDAR specialist, announced an investment of US$90 mn. The funding round was led by Sensata Technologies and included several other key investors in the industry, including Delphi Automotive, Motus Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and GP Capital. 

Q.Which are the leading regional markets for motor vehicle sensors?

Geographically, Asia Pacific is the leading contributor to the global motor vehicle sensor market. The sustained growth of the automotive industry in China and India in recent years, in addition to the flourishing automotive industry in Japan and South Korea, has driven the APAC automotive sensors market, which is likely to retain its dominance in the motor vehicle sensors market in the coming years.

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