Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Market is expected to reach USD 1,198.1 Million by 2023 at a CAGR of 21.89% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2023.
The oil & gas industry is expected to witness steady growth during the forecast period after the global slowdown in 2014. Obtaining oil & gas from both non-conventional and conventional sources is becoming more dynamic in the current scenario. The need for oil & gas in various industries will necessitate the implementation of robotics and automation in rugged offshore environments to enhance efficiency and improve productivity. Thus, the demand for AUVs for oil & gas applications is expected to increase in the forecast period.
The Global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market has been Segmented Based on Type, Technology, Payload, and Application.
Based on Type, the autonomous underwater vehicle market has been segmented into shallow, medium, and large. The large segment dominated the market with a valuation of USD 288.4 million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 787.0 million by 2023. Large AUVs have the potential to dive up to 3,000-meter seawater (MSW). These AUVs assist in long-range operations and support multiple capabilities such as obstacle avoidance and underwater docking. Large AUVs have 360-degree maneuverability and six degrees of freedom. They are equipped with sensors, cameras, and navigation & positioning systems, and are robust owing to which several companies are investing in the R&D of large AUVs.
On the basis of technology, the global autonomous underwater vehicle market has been classified as communication, collision avoidance, navigation, imaging, and propulsion. The navigation segment is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 21.94% during the forecast period. AUVs support 3D imaging sensors and software that support GPS and cameras. GPS and cameras provide accurate location information and assist operators to navigate accurately to the mines. AUVs offered by companies, such as General Dynamics Corporation—Bluefin-9M Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV)—provide an integrated navigation system that offers greater navigation capabilities to operators.
By payload, the global autonomous underwater vehicle market has been divided into sensors, cameras, synthetic aperture sonars, echo sounders, acoustic doppler current profilers (ADCPs), and others. The cameras segment is expected to register the highest CAGR of 21.43% during the forecast period. Cameras are an essential component of AUVs as they offer visibility and effective sightlines missions and general navigation. They are critical as they help in collecting data, samples, images, and videos for further planning and precision positioning. Cameras are also used for inspection, maintenance, and repair work. The efficient connection of the cameras with monitors offer multiple viewpoints to the operator.
On the basis of application, the global autonomous underwater vehicle market has been classified as military & defense, oil & gas, oceanography, environmental protection and monitoring, archaeological and exploration, and search and salvage operations. The military & defense segment is expected to exhibit the highest CAGR of 23.33% during the forecast period. Military & defense operations pose various risks to human life as they are carried out in dangerous conditions. AUVs with multiple capabilities, such as cameras and sensors, are capable of operating underwater and in restricted spaces, identifying suspicious objects, and destroying unmanned vehicles while keeping humans safe. AUVs can be used in mine detection and classification with the help of mine-hunting capabilities. Moreover, ROVs are equipped with GPS and navigation systems that can be used to survey nuclear, biological, and chemical-contaminated locations, eliminating the need for human intervention in hazardous conditions.
The regional analysis of the Global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market covers North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world.
North America led the market with a valuation of USD 182.3 Million in 2018 and is expected to reach USD 442.5 Million by 2023 at a CAGR of 19.40% during the forecast period. This can be attributed to the presence of major manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin Corporation and General Dynamics Corporation in the region.
Europe was the second-largest market with a valuation of USD 97.0 million in 2018. The European market is projected to exceed USD 268.6 million by 2023 at a 22.59% CAGR. Market growth in the region is driven by terrorist incidents and the influx of illegal immigrants from countries, such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya.
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The Key Players in the Global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market are Boston Engineering Corporation (US), Lockheed Martin Corporation (US), Fugro (Netherlands), General Dynamics Corporation (US), Kongsberg Maritime (Norway), Graal Tech Srl (Italy), Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (US), The ECA Group (France), Saab AB (Sweden), and International Submarine Engineering Limited (Canada).
In March 2019, the ECA Group signed a 10-year contract worth USD 508.8 million (450 million Euros) with the Belgian navy. As per the terms of the contract, it will provide AUVs, towed sonars, and mine identification & destruction systems (MIDS) composed of ROV for the identification and destruction of mines, and the unmanned surface vehicles. It helped improve the company’s financial position in the global AUV market.
In April 2018, Fugro signed a contract with seafloor mineral exploration company, Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI), a subsidiary of DeepGreen Metals Inc. to reform detailed site characterization surveys in the deep waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The contract helped it to increase its financial position in the global AUV market.