China Research and Intelligence Co., Ltd. (CRI)
Sensor technology is a fast-growing high and new technology and also a pillar of the information industry like communications technology and computer technology.
As the information sources and key parts of the automotive electronic control system, automotive sensors are essential to the development of automobile intelligence and automated driving and are widely used in the control of automobile engines, gearboxes, chassis, exhaust, etc. It is widely believed that automotive intelligence will be the mainstream trend of automobile development. Driven by intelligent automobiles, the global automotive sensor market will expand rapidly with new development opportunities.
According to CRI, China's automobile sales and production volume ranked the first in the world for nine consecutive years from 2009 to 2017. In 2017, the automobile production reached about 29.02 million units and the automobile sales were approximately 29 million units. The demand for automotive sensors in China is also rising with the increasing automobile production and sales and upgrading automotive electronics technology. In 2017, the market size of automotive sensors in China exceeded USD 5 billion.
In recent years, the Chinese government has given more importance and policy support to the development of the automotive sensor industry to cope with the increasingly serious air pollution and cultivate independent competitiveness in the sensor industry of international strategic significance. At present, China-made automotive sensors lag far behind foreign ones in terms of product types and technology levels and have not formed an independent industry. The miniaturization, intelligentization and integration of automotive sensors require stricter R&D and production processes. However, huge capital investment and time-consuming R&D and mass production make it difficult for domestic automotive sensor manufacturers to grow only by their own strength. The products of domestic sensor manufacturers are mainly low to medium end sensors that have low technology and low added-value. High-end markets of millimeter wave radars and lidars have been monopolized by foreign auto parts giants for long.
As China grows into the largest automobile market in the world and automobiles become more electronic, integrated and intelligent, automotive sensors have great market potential but the market competition will become more intense in the future.
It is projected that, in 2022, the average number of sensors per vehicle will increase to about 80, and the market size of automotive sensors in China will exceed USD 10 billion.