The North American market for automotive intelligent technologies is poised for rapid growth. Several products have been developed to the point of being market-ready, and their functionality, practicality, and benefits have been demonstrated in actual use. Industry Analyst Laurence Fourchet reports.

What are intelligent automotive technologies?

Intelligent automotive technologies include:

Ultrasonic park assist technology (UPA) allows a vehicle driver to reverse with confidence, alerting the driver of any obstacles in the vehicle’s path, using ultrasonic sound waves. The system allows the driver to know how close the rear bumper is to an object while backing up.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is designed to take the stress out of driving by maintaining a driver-selected distance from the vehicle in front of the driver. ACC monitors the headway interval between the car in front of the driver and maintains a safe distance by controlling throttle and brake control. The desired distance from the vehicle in front can be set by the driver and when the gap narrows, the system emits audible warning or slows the vehicle down.

Night vision technology is designed to detect heat generated from objects using infrared technology, a camera, and sensors installed on the front grille of a vehicle. Thermal energy images are converted into digital signals and are projected on a head-up display (Hud) system. The driver can then maintain visual contact with the road at all times. The system detects heat generated by objects both on and off the road. Everything emits some degree of heat, whether it is a tree, sidewalk, an animal, or a parked car.

Head-up display (HUD) systems help drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel by presenting relevant driving information at or near the forward line of sight of the driver. The basic principle of HUD systems is that the vehicle’s windshield is used as an optical element to project virtual images in the direct field of vision of the driver.

Tire pressure monitoring technology (TPM) improves passenger safety by providing the driver with advanced warning of possible leaks, punctures, or low pressure. A puncture or low tire pressure can result in tire and wheel damage, vehicle damage, or human damage. TPM systems can continuously monitor a vehicle’s tire pressure, internal tire temperature, and tire acceleration rate for optimum performance.

What is the market value in North America?

The North American market for intelligent automotive technologies is presently at the nascent stage of growth on the product lifecycle. In 2000, manufacturer revenues totalled $196.0 million. This represented growth of about 65.3 percent from the previous year.


“The greatest increases are estimated to occur towards 2004-2005.. “

n the next few years, intelligent automotive technologies market revenues for all segments — park assist technology, adaptive cruise control technology, night vision technology, head-up display technology, and tire pressure monitoring technology — are expected to increase considerably.

The greatest increases are estimated to occur towards 2004-2005 when new cars equipped with intelligent technologies are expected to increase. This estimate is based on, among other factors, the fact that more people will be aware of the benefits of the systems, as well as the fact that the automakers will have equipped most of their new models with these technologies. This exponential growth is expected to bring in incredible market opportunities for every company in the intelligent technologies industry value chain.

However, some factors will restrain market growth:

– Lack of consumer awareness keeps unit shipments at low levels

– Emerging technologies have yet to prove utility to customers

– Liability concerns restrain widespread implementation of new technologies

– High costs of intelligent technology restrain wider penetration rate

Trends by type of technology

Park assist systems represent the major segment of the North American automotive market for intelligent technologies in terms of revenues, with an estimated 67.5 percent of the total automotive market for intelligent technologies revenues in 2000. Since the number of new vehicles in use is increasing, the technology is expected to be installed in a growing number of new models. However, as new intelligent systems such as night vision enter the market, park assist systems will not represent the major segment of the North American automotive market for intelligent technologies. For this reason, the percentage of revenues represented by park assist technology should reach about 30 percent of the total revenues by 2007.

“Despite an increasing demand.. revenues generated by these systems will be slowly decreasing.. “

Despite an increasing demand for head-up display and tire pressure monitoring technologies, revenues generated by these systems will be slowly decreasing over the forecast period. This is mainly attributable to the fact that prices are anticipated to decrease and new technologies will enter the market. In 2000, revenues for head-up display systems represented 5.8 percent of the automotive market for intelligent technologies revenues, while revenues for tire pressure monitoring systems represented 20.8 percent. In 2007, head-up display systems revenues should represent only 4.3 percent of total revenues if indirect tire pressure monitoring systems are installed in new model cars, and 3.5 percent if direct tire pressure monitoring systems are selected. If chosen, indirect tire pressure monitoring systems revenues will represent only 22.9 percent of total revenues, while direct tire pressure monitoring systems revenues are projected to represent 36.6 percent if selected.

On the contrary, the percentage of revenues generated by adaptive cruise control and night vision technology are expected to change significantly over the forecast period. In 2000, adaptive cruise control systems were not already available in the market, while night vision systems represented only 5.9 percent of the total revenues. At the end of the forecast period, in 2007, adaptive cruise control systems are expected to generate more than 6 percent of the total revenues, and night vision systems over 21 percent.

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What about the competitive situation?

The automotive market for intelligent technologies offers a diversified group of products. Because of this diversification, not just one or two companies lead the industry as a whole, but a large number of manufacturers make up the market. In this report, Frost & Sullivan recognises 10 companies as significant contributors. Within each product segment, however, market leaders can be more clearly recognized.

There are many participants in the market for intelligent technologies. Most companies specialise in one or two broad sectors of the market. However, each segment has a few companies that control a significant share of the market. Major companies in the automotive industry are usually mature and well established and their products — other than intelligent technology systems — have a recognised brand name label.

For more information contact:

Nikki Cole
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