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Releases of keyless entry & remote starters smarter, more versatile

Technologies in the latest units enhance user convenience and vehicle security.

Positive that demand will strengthen amid the economic recovery of overseas markets, China suppliers of keyless entry and ignition systems are releasing a greater number of high-value designs. Many models now come with 10 or more functions programmed to provide better driver assistance and protection against theft. The trend is to combine alarm, central locking, and remote entry and starter capability in one design.

Car remote starter
The model PE501 PKE system from Intelligence Uni-ID uses rolling code technology.

A number of companies are focusing upgrades on passive systems. Makers see a higher growth potential in the line compared with active or remote keyless entry devices because capital and technological requirements have limited the number of competitors.

A typical PKE setup locks or unlocks the vehicle remotely as soon as the smart key is authenticated to be at a certain distance. It arms anti-theft systems instantly when the car has been locked, although this can be disabled at the fob holder’s discretion.

Going beyond these basics, most releases nowadays support window roll-up/down, open-door warning, car location and engine immobilization. Several also have remote ignition capability, and a number are fitted with a timer that delays switch-off to cool down the vehicle.

The Y-3501D model from Guangzhou Jinhui Electronics Fty is a PKE and alarm system with remote starter, car locator and trunk release functions. It operates on 315 to 433.92MHz.

Besides expanding product capability, various technologies are converging to take security up a notch. The trend is strong in PKE devices and RKE variants.

Intelligence Uni-ID (Shenzhen) Inc., for example, has proprietary systems that use mutual authentication and rolling code to prevent unauthorized access. Among the latest addition to its PKE selection is the PE501 model, which has a passive and remote control range of 2 and 20m, respectively.

Aesthetics is also receiving increased attention. At Shenzhen Carsky Electronic Technology Co. Ltd, efforts to enhance visual appeal have produced units with streamlined housings in titanium-magnesium alloy.

Keyless entry options

Car remote starter
Shenzhen Carsky’s R189A model supports remote and silent arming/disarming, and car locator functions.
Keyless entry options

Using RF technology, RKE systems operate on 315, 320, 360, 390 or 433MHz, while passive types are RFID devices that typically work on 315 or 433MHz frequency.

The bulk of models suit vehicles from domestic carmakers or those from Japan and South Korea manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Subaru and Kia. Twenty to 30 percent of them are compatible with US and European brands.

Below $30, RKE systems fitted with local or Taiwan-made chips are available. Models have five to eight customizable functions and an effective range of less than 200m. Compliance with CE requirements is common.

Upwards to $100, PKE types with eight to 12 programmable functions are offered. Typically using chipsets from Taiwan, the EU and the US, these have a remote control range of at least 200m, while passive detection range is 2 to 5m. Products meet CE, UL, FCC and RoHS requirements.

PKE systems at the higher end of the price scale use ICs from EU and US-based suppliers, with NXP, TI and Microchip among the common providers. They incorporate more functions, including monitoring of in-car temperature and battery voltage. Many designs bear the E-Mark.

Keyless entry systems are available from about 150 companies in China. Of the suppliers, two-thirds offer the line together with other vehicle safety and security devices. The rest specializes in remote controls for automotive applications.

The industry produced an estimated 15 million sets in 2010, half of which were shipped overseas. The US and the EU were the top destinations, accounting for over 50 percent of exports.

Keyless entry systems price guide


Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.

All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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