The global autonomous underwater vehicle market was valued at USD 314.6 million in 2020 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 31.8% over the forecast period. The global autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) market is anticipated to be driven by the rising number of developments in monitoring, mapping and inspection of oceans. The autonomous underwater vehicle has numerous applications in military, such as oceanography, anti-submarine warfare, among others. These vehicles also assist in tracking of smuggling products and human trafficking.
The demand for underwater studies is continuously increasing, which includes the exploration of underwater bodies, lakes and ocean. This can be regarded as one of the most opportunistic area for the growth of the AUV market. AUV assist in drawing of a comprehensive seabed map that helps in the planning of oil and gas businesses. In addition, the mapping and planning of ocean floors by using AUV enables in the installation of subsea infrastructure in a cost-effective manner and also by not causing any damage or interfere with the underwater creatures and settings.
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Autonomous underwater vehicles help researchers in oceanography and habitat research because of their capacity to capture pictures of the seabed and surrounding habitat using imaging technologies. Several businesses provide the research and exploration operations with real-time & quick information transmission and high-standard hydrographic surveys. Investments in R&D, high capital investments and excessive operating costs will hinder the development of the AUV industry. Connectivity problems at deep-sea concentrations are also a significant challenge in the market where cars transmit or send above sea level data and other appropriate information. Although, the sales volume is increasing, regulations are being imposed by several public organizations on the use of vehicles that hinder the development of the AUV industry.
The market is primarily segmented based on technology, AUV type, payload, application and geographic region.
By AUV Type
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Based on technology, the AUV market is categorized into collision avoidance, navigation, communication, imagery, and propulsion. The navigation technology is experiencing a rapid growth in the global AUV market. The navigation-based AUV vehicles are increasingly used for secure operation and recovery. Using an underwater acoustic positioning system, which is a monitoring scheme for underwater vehicles and divers using acoustic range measurements, the navigation of AUVs is expected to augment in the near future.
On the basis of type, the autonomous underwater vehicle market can be segmented into shallow, medium, and large units. Among these, the shallow type of autonomous underwater vehicle systems are used in water column characteristics observation applications, while medium and big systems are used as deep-water studies. The vehicles are needed to operate in shallow waters in very few instances, whereas they are mostly used for deep-sea activities. The large systems are fitted with a broad range of sensors and positioning and navigation systems and are robust as a result of which several businesses invest in the research and development of large AUVs.
The autonomous underwater vehicle market can be analyzed on the basis of its application, with which the market is segmented into army & defense, environmental security & tracking, petroleum & gas, oceanography, search & rescue activities, and archeology & exploration. Among these applications, the archeological & exploration segment contributes a major share in the market, as these vehicles sounds its application in several underwater exploration operations, which includes the extraction of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and cobalt. These minerals are used in the manufacturing of hybrid automobiles, laptops and smartphones, which in turn, drive the growth of the AUV industry. Furthermore, autonomous underwater vehicles are used for mapping obstacles, rock formations, and submerged wrecks for use in safety purposes in oceanography applications.
It is expected that North America will hold the biggest share in the global AUV market. The growing use of autonomous underwater vehicles in the oil and gas industry along with rising sea exploration activities and increase in military spending are factors that can contribute to the development of the North American market. In addition, with India, Japan, South Korea, and China as key markets, Asia Pacific is expected to propel in the market. Due to its application in several national marine applications, the Asia Pacific AUV market will see a strong development over the forecast period. Increasing demand for safety features in vehicles in nations like China, India, Japan, and South Korea has significantly enhanced these vehicles acceptance in the region, which in turn, is augmenting the market growth.
The autonomous underwater vehicle manufacturers are found to adopt primarily three kinds of approaches, namely acquisitions, collaborations and product launches, to create distinctive brand value and enhance their global market shares. Manufacturers of autonomous underwater vehicles are installing state-of-the-art sensor systems like Sonar. Atlas Elektronik GmbH, Bluefin Robotics, Saab Group, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Boston Engineering Corporation, Oceanserver Technology, International Submarine Engineering (ISE) Ltd., Kongsberg Groups, Teledyne Technologies, ECA Group, Graal, Inc., and Fugro are major players working in the global autonomous underwater vehicle market. The increasing rivalry among AUV players to maintain their position by providing innovative and unique technology-based cars is progressively making them invest in multiple R&D operations and helping to eliminate the disadvantages provided by current vehicles.