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Virtual Car Key Market: Information by Type (Smartphones, Smartwatches), Application (Passenger Cars, Commercial Vehicles) and Region — Forecast till 2030

Market Snapshot
Study Period:
2020-2030
Base Year:
2021
Fastest Growing Market:
North America
Largest Market:
Asia Pacific
CAGR:
21.8 %
Key Players
Valeo

Audi

Robert Bosch

Tesla

Continental AG

BMW

Traditionally, automobiles were unlocked through keys. However, technological advancements have given rise to more accessible and secure ways to unlock the vehicle, such as virtual car keys. These keys seem like regular car keys, but they only work with an app on a smartphone or a companion wearable.

The virtual car key system is concerned with keys or key fobs sent to a computer or mobile device. Unlike a traditional vehicle key system, the virtual car key technology allows the car key to be copied on a computer or mobile device. It also allows the owner's duplicate key fob or keyless entry system to receive the key. It prevents the hassles of losing a regular key, such as towing the vehicle, replacing the locks, and creating a new key.

The global virtual car key market share is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 21.8% from 2017 to 2030.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis

COVID-19 spread worldwide in early 2020, affecting millions of people globally. Countries worldwide imposed limitations on businesses, impacting worldwide economies and industries that contributed to the development. The automotive industry was severely harmed due to government restrictions and the closure of international borders, which had stifled cross-border trade.

Likewise, the COVID-19 pandemic drastically harmed the virtual car key business by shutting down factories and lowering demand for automobiles worldwide. The pandemic caused several economies to close down, and the need for four-wheelers fell. As demand fell, so did production. Later, government interventions such as factory lockdowns and closures further curtailed output.

Market Recovery Timeline and Challenges

Due to low orders for cars, there was a halt in the production line, dropping the demand for virtual car key systems. Post COVID-19, the automobile industry will likely revive, and the need for high-tech innovations such as virtual car key systems will skyrocket. The automobile industry is predicted to rebound in the future with the rising demand for virtual car key systems and sustained government support.

Since the system does not require a physical key, it is the most current and secure car method. It will allow drivers to unlock and lock their vehicles and start and stop them without touching them. Hence, led to an increase in demand for virtual car keys.

The following are some of the problems that market players may encounter in the coming years:

  • The requirement for more eco-friendly automobiles.
  • Replacing the lost market share

Market Dynamics

Market Drivers

  • Added Security of Virtual Car Keys and Keyless Entry to Skyrocket its Demand

A rise in car theft and robbery drive the virtual car key business. Most automobile owners are concerned about their vehicle being stolen or robbed; thus, component manufacturers and software developers devised a technologically advanced solution, namely a virtual car key system, that complements vehicle security. The virtual car key industry is a simple and flexible solution that combines various new services to improve security by preventing theft and robbery.

Further, as the use of physical keys declines, car owners seek more secure ways to protect their vehicles. This ground-breaking invention enables cyber professionals to protect critical sources and automobiles from electronic attackers. The technology recognizes electronic key fobs and authorizes them with a code. The vehicle will only be opened or started if the computer finds that specific code. Several carmakers incorporate computer-encrypted microchips in their keyless systems, which adds to the security layers.

  • Rising Demand for Keyless Entry System to Increase Demand for Virtual Car Keys

The number of cars equipped with keyless entry devices is rapidly increasing, making life easier by allowing people to travel with fewer belongings. In addition, as people become more aware of vehicle theft, the demand for keyless entry devices has grown. People in developed countries, in particular, are becoming more aware of the importance of adding protection to their vehicles. As a result, the vehicle keyless entry system industry is rapidly expanding, resulting in increased demand for keyless entry systems.

With the introduction of newer technologies, the automotive industry has seen substantial growth. The keyless entry system is a technological advancement that is propelling the market of virtual car key forward.

Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, and Volvo were among the first to introduce the proximity access system, commonly known as keyless entry. The user does not need to bring the small fob to the vehicle while using the keyless entry system. Users can utilize entry buttons or other methods to get access to their vehicles. The keyless entry system also provides a 1–2 feet entry system for those who don't want to carry the fob all day.

Market Restraints

  • Lack of Awareness About the System to Swoop Demand

Many consumers are unaware of the system's functionality, limiting the virtual car key market growth. Given the prevalence of smartphones and tablets, a mobile app is crucial to reach customers and create awareness. After installing a keyless entry system in the vehicle, a mobile app for virtual car keys must be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the iOS app store.

Nonetheless, the main impediment to market expansion is projected to be a lack of promotion among users, particularly in emerging nations.

One of the fastest-growing segments of the automobile industry is in developing countries, such as India and Brazil. Significant promotion operations in these nations might provide enterprises with a substantial potential to grow their market share. Consumers in developing nations are currently unaware of virtual automobile keys.

If you drop and break your phone while out, or if your phone is lost or stolen, virtual car keys become a problem. Furthermore, virtual car keys employ technology that predicts a driver's approach and unlocks the vehicle from up to 30 feet away, significantly less than a typical key fob range. This implies there's a higher chance the car may be stolen as the owner arrives or that a child will start the car while a parent is just outside.

Market Opportunities

  • Lucrative Opportunities in Developing Countries

The car has been the most important new technology for moving people in the last century. Even though the scientific advancements that enabled internal combustion and electric engines occurred in the late 1800s, it was not until the 1910s that automobiles became sufficiently affordable and reliable to enter the market as a mass consumer commodity.

Since then, automobiles have been introduced to practically every country and have served various purposes. Cars enable suburban commuting and the geographic separation of commercial and residential regions, as well as long-distance travel on a flexible schedule and as status symbols.

The total amount of travel tends to increase as the economy is flourishing at the national level. People in nations with higher levels of economic development travel more than people in countries with lower levels of economic growth. People with higher incomes travel more within countries than those with lower incomes.

Furthermore, the car's low cost and fuel economy boost sales in developing countries, which creates a window of opportunity for the virtual car key market to grow. Global market players can increase their profit and market share by promoting the virtual car key in developing countries.

It is simple to open your automobile with the virtual keys industry. The doors and trunk can be unlocked as long as the key fob is within the range of your vehicle. The customer can get admission by pressing the button on the side of your automobile door handle or trunk handle.

Future Key Trends in Market

The virtual car key market is rapidly expanding. The market is growing as demand for more advanced car safety features grows. As a result, automakers are upgrading their security systems to increase the production of difficult automobile keys. The rising desire for automation will be the next major trend in the virtual car key market expansion.

The NFC chip is a next-generation wireless payment system with a number of advantages and a low risk of forgery. Since RFID and QR codes make data easy to copy and change, they can't guarantee data security or privacy. Data security and forgery can be ensured by incorporating BLE, NFC, and UWB into the virtual automobile key. Car keys would be renewed every year, and the car would be reprogrammed, mandating the use of virtual car key technology.

The electrification of automobiles is a new technology that is quickly gaining traction. Since electric or hybrid-electric vehicles emit fewer emissions, are more fuel-efficient, and are less expensive than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, an increasing number of automobile manufacturers are selling them to their customers. As virtual car keys technology are a vital part of the system, it is projected to expand in tandem with the expanding demand for electric vehicles.

Segmental Insights

Based on types, the global virtual car key market is segmented into smartphones and smartwatches. The goal is to provide car owners and drivers with digital keys to lock/unlock their vehicles and start the engine using their smartphone or another portable device. The smartphones segment dominated the market share at USD 1,370.3 million in 2021.

By application, the global virtual car key market is segmented into passenger cars and commercial vehicles. The passenger vehicles segment dominated the market share with a share of 81.19% in 2021. Globally, more than 54 million passenger automobiles were produced, and in Europe, almost 11 million passenger cars were sold in 2020. The high growth rate of the passenger car segment is due to the increasing acceptance of technology-based products in a passenger car.

Remarkable Growth in Asia-Pacific and North America

Asia-Pacific dominated the global market at USD 858.7 million owing to the rising need for excellent security solutions, increasing car thefts, growing demand for technologically advanced products, and increased acceptance of connected car solutions. Further, as potential customers become more aware of the multiple benefits of virtual car key systems, demand for remote unlocking and keyless entry systems grows.

Due to the significant adoption of keyless entry systems in the US, primarily in passenger automobiles and light commercial vehicles, North America accounted for the second-largest market with a share of USD 500.0 million in the global virtual car key market. During the forecast period, the market in the region is projected to be driven by the growing need for increased safety and security features in automobiles. Virtual entry technology is utilized for keyless entry and ignition in automobiles and motorcycles.

Industry Key Players

Top key players in the virtual car key industry

  • Valeo
  • Audi
  • Robert Bosch
  • Tesla
  • Continental AG
  • Car Chabi
  • BMW
  • Hyundai
  • Volkswagen
  • Thales Group

Latest Industry Developments

  • November 2021- EIT InnoEnergy and Volkswagen AG announced a strategic partnership to innovate technologies and business models for achieving economic breakthroughs. This will contribute to the decarbonization of the transport sector and accelerate the shift to electromobility.
  • October 2021- Robert Bosch announced to invest more than 400 million euros in its semiconductor fabs in 2022.
  • October 2021- Hyundai Motor Company launched two social media challenges with BTS to raise awareness of the importance of carbon neutrality.
  • October 2021- Audi expanded its high-voltage batteries development in the Neckarsulm location. Furthermore, a battery center for testing high-voltage storage technologies will start operations by 2023.
  • September 2021- Continental AG signed a Joint Venture (JV) contract with Horizon Robotics focusing on providing hardware and software integrated solutions for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and automated driving.
  • September 2021- Valeo debuted at Eurobike, the leading global trade show for the bike business. The Group will be in Germany to present its Smart e-Bike System, the most high-performance electric assistance system for bikes to date.
  • April 2021- The BMW Group started manufacturing battery components at its plants in Leipzig and Regensburg and expanded its e-drive production network.
  • February 2021- Tesla invested an aggregate of USD 1.50 billion in bitcoin and is expecting to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment

Key Market Segments

By Type

  • Smartphones
  • Smartwatches

By Application

  • Passenger Cars
  • Commercial Vehicles

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Latin America
  • MEA
ATTRIBUTES DETAILS
ESTIMATED YEAR 2022
BASE YEAR 2021
FORECAST YEAR 2030
HISTORICAL YEAR 2019-2020
UNIT Value (USD Million/Billion)
BY REGION

North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, MEA

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 21.8% over the forecast period.
Valeo, Audi, Robert Bosch, Tesla, Continental AG, Car Chabi, and BMW are the top players in the market.
The Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest market share.
The digital car key market is growing as vehicles are getting digitally equipped with new smart features and it helps security vulnerabilities.
The rise in car theft and robbery globally is the key factor expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
The market will be estimated to grow from the years 2022 to 2030.
The passenger vehicles segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
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