Occupant Classification System Market is anticipated to be worth over USD 3 billion by 2025. Airbags have become a crucial feature for vehicle safety systems, reducing road accidents significantly. However, airbag impacts have injured several occupants, especially children & infants, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The occupant classification system market growth can be attributed to the need for restraining systems for airbag forces. These systems can detect an occupant’s size, position, and weight to deploy and suppress the pressure, enabling passenger safety. Moreover, recent technologies in the occupant classification system market can detect additional information such as body posture and if the occupant is wearing a seatbelt or not.
Conventional airbags deployed aggressive pressure on occupants; hence, automakers are actively implementing smart airbags that can operate with variable pressures. These systems work with an ECU and may also have a seat belt pre-tensioner, seat belt switch, sensors for seat position, and weight sensors. The growing implementation of airbags in the developing nations will influence the occupant classification system market. Several governments have made airbags mandatory in light vehicles. Brazil, which is one of the largest automotive manufacturing countries, enforced a rule to implement frontal airbags in all new cars sold in the country from January 2014. Moreover, the production of automotive in Brazil increased by 5.2% in 2018, flourishing the occupant classification system market.
The economy class vehicles segment will increasingly implement these systems creating high growth potential for the occupant classification system market. Consumers are demanding extended safety systems in cars with growing awareness of road safety. The developing countries have witnessed a growing popularity of economy vehicles due to an increase in the population of the middle-class. Moreover, the increase in disposable income and economic developments in these countries are expected to influence the occupant classification system market. China has become a preferred manufacturing hub for several tier 1, tier 2 automakers as well as component suppliers and has significant growth potential. The country has resources, raw materials, and cheap labor costs, influencing automotive manufacturing. China is also a major automotive supplier to European countries and holds considerable growth opportunities for the occupant classification system market.
The technological advancements in automotive electronics have influenced product developments & innovations in the occupant classification system market. Automotive manufacturers are relying more on the electronics & sensor systems to enhance safety. Moreover, the emergence of autonomous vehicles and connected car technologies have boosted developments in sensor technologies. The evident rise in the global automotive sector and the need for advanced safety features are expected to drive market growth. The demand for luxury cars has increased, particularly in the Asia Pacific region. Automakers, including Audi and Mercedes-Benz, have recorded growing sales in countries such as India. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), around 71 million passenger cars were sold in 2017, which is anticipated to drive the occupant classification system market.
The majorly used technologies in the occupant classification system market include a strain gauge system, bladder system, and pressure sensitive tape system. The pressure sensitive tape system is implemented mostly in luxury cars. The electronic-field sensing, 3D camera, and ultrasonic sensors are some of the recent advanced technologies being developed by manufacturers. Robert Bosch, TE Connectivity, Joyson Safety Systems, and IEE Sensing are the prominent players in the occupant classification system market. Several models of Honda, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Buick, and Ford have been embedded with occupant classification systems. Nissan has its own brand, Calsonic Kansei, which develops the occupant classification system mostly used on Nissan vehicles.
The occupant classification system market can be hampered by some factors. There have been cases of fake airbags implemented in cars, which were found during car crash investigations. Though the percentage is low, the quality standards of airbags, especially in the aftermarket, can affect the occupant classification system market growth. In 2017, a 58-year-old Australian was killed due to the failure of the airbag system as reported by the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit. Additionally, the rising prices of cars due to the implementation of airbags and occupant classification systems, especially in economy class vehicles, can restrain the industry growth.
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