The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the annual mortality associated with road accidents at 1.35 million at least. It is common knowledge that humans are themselves responsible for most such mishaps, by over-speeding, not keeping their eyes on the road, or talking on the phone while driving. This is why several countries in Europe and the two in North America are mandating the installation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that can aid the human drivers and reduce the likelihood of a road crash.
As per P&S Intelligence, the increasing focus on making roads and vehicles safer will help in the growth of the automotive ultrasonic sensors market from $3,461.9 million in 2019 to $6,096.2 million in 2030, at a 5.1% CAGR between 2020 and 2030. This is because several types of ADASs, such as blind spot detection systems and self-parking systems, depend on ultrasonic sensors to determine the distance between the vehicle and another object. Moreover, with the increasing demand for self-driving vehicles with level 1, 2, and 3 autonomy, the installation of ultrasonic-sensor-driven ADAS is rising.
In this regard, a lot of countries are taking initiatives to allow for the functioning of semi-autonomous vehicles and encourage research, development, and testing activities for fully autonomous vehicles, which are those with level 4 and 5 autonomy. For instance, the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) of Spain has allowed the operation of cars with up to level 5 autonomy. Similarly, in 2017, 33 U.S. states implemented vehicle-autonomy-related legislations, followed by 15 more the next year. Apart from implementing legislations, governments are working with automakers and automotive technology vendors to get their transportation infrastructure ready, which would fuel the demand for automotive ultrasonic sensors.
Similarly, automotive technology vendors, on their part, are making efforts to increase the efficiency of these instruments. The biggest disadvantage with automotive ultrasonic sensors currently is that they are not effective beyond a speed of 10 kilometers per hour. With the demand for vehicles with higher speeds rising, extensive R&D is being conducted to make these sensors functional at higher speeds. This is also important because on highways, people generally drive at higher speeds, which is one of the biggest causes of road accidents.
This is one of the reasons ultrasonic sensors are majorly integrated in passenger cars. Further, any new advancement in the automotive technology is first deployed in passenger cars, which account for over 70% of the automobiles produced around the world. In the coming years, the installation rate of ultrasonic sensors will rise rapidly in commercial cars, with the growing demand for freight transportation services. Fleet owners are expected to purchase trucks and buses with these instruments to improve their logistics and public transportation operations.
As a result of all these reasons and the immense government support for autonomous vehicles, Europe has been the largest automotive ultrasonic sensors market for quite some time now. In addition, the continent is home to several luxury carmakers, including Volkswagen AG, BMW AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Daimler AG, and Renaultâ€“Nissanâ€“Mitsubishi Alliance, who are introducing these instruments in their vehicles. In the years to come, the installation of ultrasonic sensors will burgeon in Asia-Pacific (APAC), which is the largest automotive producer in the world.
Thus, as autonomous vehicles become more popular and focus on road and automobile safety increases, so will the demand for ultrasonic sensors.