Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Outlook 2031:
The global autonomous underwater vehicle market size was valued at USD 1.78 Billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 5.93 Billion by 2031, expanding at a CAGR of 14.3% during the forecast period 2023 - 2031. The market growth is attributed to the rising demand from the oil & gas industries for research purpose.
Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) are unmanned, untethered underwater vehicles that are self-propelled. These vehicles are mobile instrumentation platforms with actuators, sensors, and onboard intelligence to successfully complete survey and sampling tasks with little or no human supervision to provide high-quality data. The adoption of AUVs for oceanographic, commercial, and military missions has increased drastically in recent years, surging AUV operations.
AUVs are programmable robotic vehicles that can drift, drive, or glide across the ocean without real-time control by a human operator, depending on their design. Some AUVs communicate with operators periodically or continuously through satellite signals or hydroacoustic beacons, allowing them to have some degree of control. AUVs allow scientists to conduct other experiments from surface ships, and AUVs can collect data on the surface or elsewhere in deep water.
Some AUVs can make their own decisions and change mission profiles based on environmental data received through sensors while driving. AUVs require precise navigation systems for localization, positioning, tracking, guidance, and control over long work cycles. It is necessary to derive adaptive algorithms for estimating AUV dynamics to develop accurate and robust navigation and control systems for AUVs.
AUVs play a vital role in the supervision of oceans and seas that measures physical characteristics, temperature, oxygen level, salinity, and depth of water due to high accuracy technology. It helps to collect the data through numerous sensors by imaging and is often used as a platform for mapping the floor of the ocean and sea. AUVs ensure the safety of underwater natural resources as it helps to assist divers who perform important tasks within the depth of water.
COVID-19 Impact on Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market
The market report finds that the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted on the global autonomous vehicle market. The pandemic hampered the overall revenue generation of the global market, due to a reduction in the production of AUVs resulting in disruption of the supply chain of the global market. The oil & gas industry is the largest consumer of AUVs that facing a shortage in the demand for oil & gas due to preventive measures imposed by the government across the globe such as lockdowns and traveling restrictions.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Macro-economic Factors
Autonomous underwater vehicles are manufactured in many countries such as the US, France, Russia, and China. Governments of various countries are taking initiatives to support the adoption of autonomous underwater vehicles. For instance, the government of India has implemented various initiatives to increase the demand for AUVs by allowing 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in many sectors, including the natural gas and oil sectors.
According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, in February 2021, the Government of India announced an investment of around INR 7.5 trillion (US$102.49 billion) in oil and gas infrastructure over the next five years. This is expected to boost the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines, thus, contributing to the growth of the autonomous underwater vehicle market.
Additionally, the U.S. Government has established a DoD policy (DoD Directive 3000.09) and assigns responsibilities for the development and use of autonomous and semi-autonomous functions in weapon systems, including manned and unmanned platforms.
Development and integration of advanced technology in AUVs are expected to create opportunities for market players to increase market revenue for autonomous underwater vehicles. AUVs are anticipated to rely on innovations in terms of battery life, independence, and controllability over the next few years. AUVs typically have a battery life of fewer than 24 hours; however, the battery life reduces drastically when the AUV operates in deep water.
This is attributed to the high consumption of power by motors in AUVs while operating in deep water. New vehicles and sensor advancements increase the range of operations of AUVs, while advances in artificial intelligence increase reliability and flexibility. Technological advancements in AUVs enable them to avoid collisions on the ocean floor or under ice, and their increased intelligence allows them to adapt their research to changes in the environment monitored.
The US Navy manages a major Unmanned Marine Autonomous Architecture (UMAA) development program to assess the level of autonomy for unmanned underwater submarine technology. AUVs are anticipated to continue playing an important role in ocean exploration and surveillance in the coming years, which is estimated to boost the market.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Dynamics
Increasing use of AUVs in defense
Growing need for maritime security for threats, ocean data, and mining, and increasing number of offshore oil & gas activities boost the market. Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are increasingly used for the navy and military & defense applications. Navy widely uses an autonomous underwater vehicle for various functions such as intelligence, mine countermeasures, surveillance & reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare.
Rising surveillance activities for security, and surging defense expenditure in numerous countries drive the market. According to World Population Review, in 2020, the total world military expenditure was about USD 1.981 trillion. The United States has the highest military spending of any nation.
In 2020, the U.S. spent $778 billion on military spending, more than the next nine top-spending countries combined. Following the United States is China, spending $252 billion and India, spending $72.9 billion.
Growing exploration of new oil fields and offshore activities
AUVs are widely used in exploration activities in oceans for various underwater applications, including the production of oil & gas, offshore activities, scientific research, and security. For instance, in 2019, many major corporations including Shell, Chevron, Repsol, and Equinor, discovered oil reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell successfully completed deepwater well-exploration projects, that found oil around 400 feet deep in the ocean.
Demand for energy has significantly increased over the years, due to technological innovations in developing countries. The infrastructure of the oil and gas industry is the core of the offshore business. Offshore resources cater to the growing demand for energy, as conventional coastal resources are continuously declining. This propels production facilities to move to offshore areas for oil & gas.
According to the International Energy Agency, the demand for global natural gas is projected to increase by approximately 1.5% in the coming years. Production of oil and gas is increasing in the Middle East, including Qatar, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran, due to the growing number of conventional projects in the region. The oil and gas industry is extensively using autonomous underwater vehicles for mapping the seabed before starting the subsea projects, which propels the market.
Rapid expansion of aquaculture across the globe
Wide expansion of aquaculture across the globe at a rapid pace is a major factor driving the growth of the global autonomous underwater vehicle market in the coming years. AUVs provides a reliable platform to aqua farmers to perform various underwater tasks. It helps in monitoring aqua farmers regarding water quality and temperature. AUVs observe overall behavior of aquatic animals during the feeding process in aquaculture that helps to maintain aquatic life balance.
AUVs are equipped with numerous sensors, networks, and hardware for navigation systems, linked to signal transmission for immediate communication and data acquisition. Signal transmission and communication are the main difficulties in underwater engineering, due to transmission distortions that occur underwater. Networks designed for rapid confirmation and communication do not work underwater.
Acoustic signals are slower than radio waves, taking two seconds to travel a mile and back. This reduces consistency and causes operational failures in many applications that require real-time data. Numerous factors are expected to interfere with signal transmission, due to environmental conditions such as refraction, reflection, and signal absorption. These factors are anticipated to restrain market growth.
Furthermore, electromagnetic (EM) waves work inefficiently in underwater environments beyond 200 meters, due to the conductivity of ocean water. Free-space light waves (FSO), which travel short distances, are not suitable for AUVs. Thus, AUVs use low-velocity sound waves for deep-sea surveys. Absorption, refraction, and scattering of signals emitted by AUVs in the seawater affect their propagation. Reflections are caused by signals bouncing off the ocean floor or passing through layers of water separated by differences in temperature and density.
High-pressure levels in the depth of water slow down signal transmission speeds, creating background noise and echoes. Underwater communication requires high power levels, due to the requirement of complex signal processing. Ecological disturbances caused by waves, weather changes, ocean currents, and wind patterns have a significant impact on AUV underwater communications. All of these factors present challenges for AUV operators and adversely impact market growth.
Major market players in almost every industry rely on the development of innovative products. Companies are investing in developing a high level of innovation and technologically advanced products. Researchers in Japan are working to map the country's vast seafloor and identify its mineral resources using a fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles guided by rugged autonomous surface vehicles.
National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) is looking for alternative approaches for extracting rare-earth minerals. A small fleet of AUVs is continuously monitored and, if necessary, brought back to trucks by dedicated autonomous water vehicles produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI). In 2022, the government of Japan is expected to finish its second phase of the initiative and conclude sea trials.
The trials involve the use of one autonomous surface vehicle to supervise five AUVs operating at a 2,000m depth. Fujiwara aims to deploy multiple autonomous water vehicles to conduct seabed surveys. AUV is produced as a robust, cost-effective, and practical vehicle that operates continuously for 5 days while reliably maintaining its position in harsh sea conditions. Furthermore, US-based C&C Technologies is known for developing the first commercial autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for oil and gas exploration.
Underwater vehicle technology offers attractive opportunities for manufacturing companies operating in the market. Key OEMs have introduced advanced and reliable communication technologies that solve critical problems of underwater vehicles. The development of cost-effective underwater vehicle communication technology with excellent interference disturbance tolerance elements contributes to the growth of the autonomous underwater vehicles market.
Artificial intelligence integration improves real-time communications, underwater attacks, autonomous navigation, and surveying. Several companies, such as Boeing, Thales, and BAE Systems, are developing fully autonomous vehicles that are well-suited for long-range strikes, ISR operations, minefields, and surveillance operations.
- For instance, in May 2021, the federal government of Germany provided USD14.5 million to develop an autonomous robotic system as part of a maritime research program. It is controlled by artificial intelligence that improves range and mission duration.
Scope of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Report
The report on the global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market includes an assessment of the market, trends, segments, and regional markets. Overview and dynamics have also been included in the report.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast
Type (Small AUVs (upto 100m depth), Medium AUVs (100m-1000m depth), and Large AUVs (above 1000m depth)), Shape (Torpedo, Streamlined Rectangular Style, Laminar Flow Body, and Multi-hull Vehicle), Technology (Communication System, Collision Avoidance System, Navigation System, and Imaging System), Propulsion System (Mechanical System, Electric System, and Hybrid System), Payload Type (Sensors, Cameras, Echo Sounders, Synthetic Aperture Sonar, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers, and Others), Application (Scientific Research, Oil & Gas Industry, Military & Defense, Archaeology & explorations, Oceanography, Environment Protection & Monitoring, Seabed Mining, Rescue Activities, and Others)
Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East & Africa
Company Share, Market Analysis and Size, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends, and Revenue Forecast
Key Players Covered
Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, Boeing, Kongsberg, BAE Systems, ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH, International Submarine Engineering Limited, Eelume AS, ECA GROUP, Graal Tech Srl, ecoSUB Robotics Limited, and HYDROMEA
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Segment Insights
The global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market is segmented on the basis of type, shape, technology, propulsion system, payload type, application, and regions.
Type Segment Analysis
In terms of Type, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market is segmented into Small AUVs (upto 100m depth), Medium AUVs (100m-1000m depth), and Large AUVs (above 1000m depth). Medium AUVs (100m-1000m depth) segment is expected to dominate the market in 2021, owing to the increasing demand in military and oil & gas industries.
The small AUVs segment is anticipated to hold a key share of the global market during the assessment period due to increasing aquaculture across the globe. Small AUVs are used in depths of up to 0-100 m. It offers safety to underwater natural resources. It acts as a monitor by providing information about the depth of water and helps to map the floor of large bodies of water such as the sea and ocean. Increasing demand for search & salvage operations and rescue activities leads to fuel the market growth.
Shape Segment Analysis
On the basis of Shape, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle market is segmented into Torpedo, Streamlined Rectangular Style, Laminar Flow Body, and Multi-hull Vehicle. The torpedo segment is expected to hold a substantial share of the market during the forecast. Torpedo AUVs have proven particularly useful for ground-level mapping and imaging and perform autonomously while supporting vessels to perform traditional operations, which is boosting the segment.
It has a hydrodynamic shape that enhances speed and efficiency as it is very light in weight. Torpedo-shaped AUVs offer a good balance between stability and speed. Torpedo AUVs are equipped with optimum hull surface, which makes them suitable for water applications with the same speed. It has a front HD video camera with LED light that helps in imaging.
Technology Segment Analysis
Based on Technology, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market is segmented into Communication System, Collision Avoidance System, Navigation System, and Imaging System. The navigation system segment is expected to dominate the market in 2021. This technology is used over the course of long-term missions to ascertain the quality of the data collected underwater. Submarine navigation technology offers accurate velocity, position, and altitude information for autonomous underwater vehicles. These factors are expected to drive the market.
Propulsion System Segment Analysis
In terms of Propulsion System, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market is segmented into Mechanical System, Electric System, and Hybrid System. The electric system segment is expected to hold a substantial market share during the forecast period. The introduction of advanced power systems for autonomous vehicles, such as Fuel Cell Energy Power Systems (FCEPS), increases the vehicle's capacity. Thus, increasing the use of high-power batteries drives the segment's growth.
Payload Type Segment Analysis
On the basis of Payload Type, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market is segmented into Sensors, Cameras, Echo Sounders, Synthetic Aperture Sonar, Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers, and Others. The sensor segment is expected to dominate the market in 2021, due to growing demand for deploying sensors in the docking station.
AUVs have pressure and attitude sensors used for determining final depth and orientation. In AUVs sensor is a major factor that calculates the data in the depth of water such as temperature, oxygen level, and physical characteristics of water. Growing various sensor network technologies and rising adoption of sensors results in generating high demand for sensors.
The camera segment is attributed to contributing the segment growth owing to the increasing demand for high-resolution cameras in AUVs. The camera is used to estimate the position information along with the navigation sensor. It is useful in aquaculture as it provides the behavior of animals through optical images. Increasing demand from oil & gas industries highly demands for cameras to finding natural resources.
Application Segment Analysis
Based on Application, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market is segmented into Application Scientific Research, Oil & Gas Industry, Military & Défense, Archaeology & explorations, Oceanography, Environment Protection & Monitoring, Seabed Mining, Rescue Activities, and Others. Military & Défense segment is expected to hold a substantial market share during the forecast period.
Growing demand for underwater surveying, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) activities, submarines, and naval mines is anticipated to boost the demand for AUVs in military & defense. Furthermore, iIncreasing demand for border and coastal security across the globe is another major factor driving the segment. AUVs have become orthodox for the navy and military & defense.
Navigation system provides exact positioning with excellent reliability. Moreover, the inertial navigation system enhances accuracy, safety, and effectiveness in positioning solution that widely used in oceanographic surveys as it offers accuracy while positioning with high performance. Growing worldwide production of ships and other underwater vehicles demands for the navigation system leads to drive the market growth in the coming years.
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Regional Insights
Based on regions, the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. The market in North America is growing at a rapid pace during the forecast due to the growing expenditure on R&D, high defense budgets, and increasing naval power. Increased procurement of advanced AUVs by the US Navy for ISR operations, search and rescue, and other activities are boosting the market in the region.
Key Benefits for Industry Participants & Stakeholders
- In-depth Analysis of the global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market
- Historical, Current, and Projected Market Size in terms of Value and Volume
- Potential & Niche Segments and Regions Exhibiting Promising Growth Covered
- Industry Drivers, Restraints, and Opportunities Covered in the Study
- Recent Industry Trends and Developments
- Competitive Landscape & Strategies of Key Players
- Neutral Perspective on Global Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market
- Small AUVs (upto 100m depth)
- Medium AUVs (100m-1000m depth)
- Large AUVs (above 1000m depth)
- Streamlined Rectangular Style
- Laminar Flow Body
- Multi-hull Vehicle
- Communication System
- Collision Avoidance System
- Navigation System
- Imaging System
- Mechanical System
- Electric System
- Hybrid System
- Echo Sounder
- Synthetic Aperture Sonar
- Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers
- Scientific Research
- Oil & Gas Industry
- Military & Defense
- Archaeology & Explorations
- Environment Protection & Monitoring
- Seabed Mining
- Rescue Activities
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Latin America
- Middle East & Africa
Key Market Players Profiled in the Report
Top players in the market include Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation, Boeing, Kongsberg, BAE Systems, ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH, International Submarine Engineering Limited, Eelume AS, ECA GROUP, Graal Tech Srl, ecoSUB Robotics Limited, and HYDROMEA.
These companies are considered key manufacturers of Autonomous Underwater vehicles based on their revenue, product offerings, regional presence, and supply chain management system. The players are adopting key strategies such as acquisition, collaborations, and geographical expansion where potential opportunity for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market.