The Rising Demand for Automotive Sensors

POSTED BY James Moar
Automotive: Car Interior / Cockpit

Driving Sensors Driving Innovation in the Automotive Space

In order to meet growing consumer and regulatory demands for improved safety, comfort, energy efficiency and reduced emissions, modern vehicles are fitted with a range of sensors that collect and process a vast amount of data from both inside and outside of the vehicle.

 A typical high-end modern vehicle is mounted with well over 100 sensors of various types. These sensors measure wheel speed, the physical position of components and the pressure, temperature and levels of the vehicle’s fluids and gases. Advanced sensor technology is at the very cutting edge of innovation in the automotive space, as the development of AV (Autonomous Vehicles) depends heavily on the ability to quickly and reliably monitor and respond to data in real-time.

The Impact of Electric Vehicles

With increasingly strict emissions standards, EVs have seen widespread government support with a range of direct purchase and tax incentives provided to manufacturers and end users. As such, over the long term, EVs are likely to displace ICE vehicles as the primary automotive vehicle type employed. This growth will likely lead to a significant decline in demand for operational safety sensors that measure ICE-specific functions, such as oil pressure and O2 and NOX sensors that monitor the performance of catalytic converters. However, EVs present a new set of engineering challenges that will support sales of a range of sensor types. Relative to ICE vehicles, EVs are more electronically complicated and contain a range of components that are highly sensitive to temperature fluctuations, humidity, voltage and general wear.

EVs Fostering Sensor Demand

EVs require accurate measurements of the SOC (State of Charge), a measure of how full a battery is relative to its total capacity, and the SOH (State of Health), which monitors the gradual decline in the condition of a battery over time with wear and tear. Notably, temperature is a key measure for EV safety, with EV batteries requiring more precise thermal control than is the case in ICE-powered vehicles. Should a battery’s temperature fall below a specified operating window, the chemical reaction that takes place during charge and discharge will be hampered and the vehicle will be unable to generate power. 

EVs thus require a number of very precise and highly responsive CTS (Coolant Temperature Sensors) that measure the temperature of the battery coolant and thus the battery itself. As EV battery power increases, so too will the challenges of accurately monitoring and controlling their temperatures and current, as the operation of the battery both complicates sensor operations and raises the consequences of their failure. This trend towards more powerful batteries, in addition to the rapidly expanding uptake of both commercial and industrial EVs will sustain long-running demand for operational sensors well into the future.

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► Automotive Sensors Market Research

Our latest research found:
  •  The automotive sensors market will grow to over $92 billion by 2026; a 30% increase over 2021. 
  • Sensors monitoring various vehicle safety parameters in internal combustion engines will experience substantial decline from increased electrification of vehicles, following the COP26 climate conference’s initiatives to move countries to 100% electric vehicle sales by 2030.
  • The majority of revenue from vehicle automation and ADAS sensors will come from CMOS image sen-sors (cameras used for image recognition), which will remain more cost-effective than LiDAR in many situations in the short term.
  • Over a third of consumer vehicles shipped in 2026 to be electric. This means different sensors will be needed to monitor engine conditions.