Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Study by Electric, Mechanical, and Hybrid for Scientific Research, Defense, and Oil & Gas from 2024 to 2034

Analysis of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Covering 30+ Countries Including Analysis of US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Nordics, GCC countries, Japan, Korea and many more

Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Outlook (2024 to 2034)

Revenue from worldwide sales of autonomous underwater vehicles is estimated at US$ 3.42 billion in 2024 and is forecasted to increase at a CAGR of 15.6% to reach US$ 14.58 billion by the end of 2034.

Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV), also called unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), are used for various purposes, including exploring shipwrecks and mapping obstacles like rock formations posing a risk to commercial and recreational vessels. Advanced sensor technologies, such as oceanographic sensors and sonar systems, are installed in autonomous underwater vehicles. These sensors are capable of completing the entire mission without the need for operator intervention.

Advancements in marine technology have significantly improved the capabilities of AUVs. Sensor, communication, and navigational innovations are enhancing the efficiency of these vehicles. Interest in AUVs has increased due to the growing significance of underwater resources, such as minerals, energy, and biodiversity. These vehicles are essential for mapping and investigating the ocean floor, which helps with resource discovery and sustainable use.

Key Market Growth Drivers

  • Governments across the world are investing significantly in research into aquatic life, thus leading to the rising sales of autonomous underwater vehicles.
  • The autonomous underwater vehicle market size is expanding due to their increasing utilization in fish farming. These vehicles help aqua farmers monitor parameters such as turbidity, temperature, and conductivity.
  • The oil and gas sector is expected to benefit from technological advancements in UUVs, enhancing communication and improving accessibility at depth.
  • Introduction of smart devices is enhancing risk and operational management.
  • Sophisticated imaging and navigation systems are being implemented for safe operations in challenging environments. In the oil and gas sector, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) are utilized for bathymetric surveys, pipeline inspections, platform inspections, and search and rescue missions.
Report Attributes Details
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Size (2024E) US$ 3.42 Billion
Forecasted Market Value (2034F) US$ 14.58 Billion
Global Market Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 15.6% CAGR
East Asia Market Share (2024E) 35.2%
North America Market Share (2024E) 28.7%
Sales of Large AUVs (2024E) US$ 1.44 Billion
Key Companies Profiled
  • Lockheed Martin
  • ThyssenKrupp (Atlas Elektronik GmbH)
  • General Dynamics
  • L3 Ocean Server
  • Saab
  • Kongsberg Gruppen ASA
  • StedY - Groupe Gorgé (ECA Group)
  • International Submarine Engineering Ltd.
  • Boston Engineering
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • KNIFEFISH & Bluefin

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What are the Key Applications of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles?

“Extensive Use of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for Security and Surveillance”

Autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles are receiving significant attention from the military sector. UUVs have traditionally been utilized by the military for duties such as security and surveillance, seabed mapping, and inspection. In recent years, due to advancements in their propulsion systems, size, capabilities, and payload systems, UUVs have been deployed in tasks such as mine clearance and anti-submarine warfare. This is one of the key autonomous underwater vehicle market trends.

“Critical Role of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles in Shipwreck and Air Crash Investigations”

Autonomous underwater vehicles are also being used to track illegal human and drug trafficking, and smuggling of supplies and equipment. These vehicles are used for shipwreck and aviation crash investigations. Autonomous underwater vehicles, in the near future, are projected to employ fuel cell systems and a combination of separate batteries and power management systems with supercapacitors.

Due to the growing demand for these vehicles in the research sector for underwater studies of lakes, ocean floors, and marine animals, the market for autonomous underwater robots is expected to present highly lucrative opportunities.

Which Difficulties are Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Manufacturers Tackling?

“High Initial Costs Associated with Creating, Producing, and Maintaining AUVs”

The high initial costs involved in creating, producing, and maintaining AUVs may hinder the market from expanding. The adoption of AUVs is restricted by excessive operating costs. These costs cover personnel training, energy use, and maintenance. Finding affordable solutions is essential to long-term market growth. It can be difficult to maintain reliable communication channels in deep-sea environments. AUVs frequently operate at considerable depths where connectivity issues can occur.

“Lack of Reliability of Data Transmitted Between Submerged to Above-sea Systems”

AUVs encounter technological uncertainties as electronic devices are prone to becoming ineffective due to factors like water's ability to absorb electromagnetic radiation. Aquatic environments also pose special challenges that require creative solutions.

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Country-wise Insights

East Asia occupies a significant autonomous underwater vehicle market share in terms of revenue in 2024. The region is projected to retain its dominance throughout the forecast period. Also, the market for AUVs in East Asia is forecasted to expand at a CAGR of 15.6% through 2034.

What is the Motivation for Increased Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Use in the United States?

“Demand for Deep-sea Exploration for Research Driving Sales of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles”

Attribute United States
Market Value (2024E) US$ 843.8 Million
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 13.8% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 3.09 Billion

Autonomous underwater vehicles are useful for researching oceanography, underwater ecosystems, and geological features, according to scientists, marine specialists, and organizations around the world. The demand for autonomous solutions, resource exploration, and technological advancements are propelling the autonomous underwater vehicle market growth in the United States. Deep-sea exploration expeditions are growing in the United States, and autonomous underwater vehicles enable researchers to collect a large amount of data for sea mapping.

How is the Government of China Supporting Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Producers?

“Significant Government Funding for Development of Underwater Vehicles for Warfare”

Attribute China
Market Value (2024E) US$ 744.9 Million
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 14.7% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 2.93 Billion

The government in China acknowledges the strategic significance of underwater warfare capabilities. AUVs are utilized for tracking enemy submarines and vessels, as well as for intelligence gathering and surveillance. During times of crisis, China mitigates its underwater military disadvantage by employing autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to locate and track enemy naval forces. The Chinese government plays a crucial role in the development of AUVs, allocating significant funds for applied technologies, including marine technologies, through initiatives like the State High-Tech Development Plan.

Category-wise Insights

Modern AUV deployment is increasing as a result of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has increased the need for continuous naval border monitoring. Increased demand for deep-sea exploration for mineral extraction and oil and gas production is prompting the production of both electric and manual propulsion systems. There are fewer risks to human life due to the capability of AUVs to delve deeper into underwater locations.

Why are Electric Propulsion Systems Widely Preferred?

“Greater Reliability and Efficiency of Electric Propulsion Compared to Other Systems”

Attribute Electric System
Segment Value (2024E) US$ 1.35 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 16% CAGR
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 5.84 Billion

Reliability, efficiency, and versatility of the electric propulsion system are contributing to the significant investments in modernizing naval and armed forces. As military tensions are rising worldwide, nations are striving to enhance their underwater warfare capabilities. AUVs equipped with electric propulsion systems are being incorporated into naval defense fleets to track enemy submarines and vessels and gather intelligence on them. While electric propulsion is the preferred choice for AUVs, innovations like buoyancy-driven gliders offer alternative options for specific uses.

What is the Primary Purpose of Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicles?

“Reliance on Large AUVs for Resource Exploration and Environmental Monitoring”

Attribute Large AUVs
Segment Value (2024E) US$ 1.44 Billion
Growth Rate (2024 to 2034) 16%
Projected Value (2034F) US$ 6.38 Billion

Large AUVs are a favorable choice for deepwater surveys. They can map seafloors, explore ocean depths, and gather important data due to their robust construction and sophisticated sensors. Scientific research, resource exploration, and environmental monitoring all rely on these capabilities. Big AUVs are indispensable for inspecting underwater pipelines in sectors like oil and gas.

AUVs can conduct autonomous, efficient, and cost-effective inspections in challenging conditions, eliminating the need for human divers. For tasks such as pipeline maintenance, leak detection, and environmental impact assessments, the oil and gas sector relies on large autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). These vehicles enhance overall efficiency, reduce operating costs, and improve safety.

Know thy Competitors

Competitive landscape highlights only certain players
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Competitive Landscape

Key players in the autonomous underwater vehicle market are Lockheed Martin, ThyssenKrupp (Atlas Elektronik GmbH), General Dynamics, L3 Ocean Server, Saab, Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, FUGRO NV-CVA, StedY - Groupe Gorgé (ECA Group), International Submarine Engineering Ltd., Boston Engineering, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

  • India's first autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) with mine detection capabilities was launched in July 2023. According to officials, MSME organization AEPL and warship manufacturer Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd., both based in Kolkata, collaborated to create the AUV known as Neerakshi.
  • 6,000-meter autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) of the French National Institute for Ocean Science (IFREMER) use subsea technology from iXblue, which combines sonar, acoustic positioning, and inertial navigation.

Segmentation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Market Research

  • By Type :

    • Small
    • Medium
    • Large
  • By Propulsion :

    • Electric System
    • Mechanical System
    • Hybrid System
  • By Application :

    • Scientific Research
    • Defense
    • Oil & Gas Industry
  • By Payload :

    • Cameras
    • Sensors
    • Inertial Navigation Systems
  • By Region :

    • North America
    • Europe
    • Latin America
    • East Asia
    • South Asia & Oceania
    • Middle East & Africa

- FAQs -

What is the autonomous underwater vehicle market size in 2024?

The global autonomous underwater vehicle market is estimated to reach US$ 3.42 billion in 2024.

Which country has a significant market share in autonomous underwater vehicles?

The United States is estimated to account for a market valuation of US$ 843.8 million in 2024.

What is the estimated market size of China in 2024?

Sales of autonomous underwater vehicles in China are forecasted to reach US$ 744.9 million in 2024.

Which type of AUV holds a significant market share?

Sales of large AUVs are estimated to reach US$ 1.44 billion in 2024.

What are the projections for mechanical systems in AUVs?

Use of mechanical systems in AUVs is set to reach a market value of US$ 1.02 billion in 2024.

What is the market value of Japan in AUVs?

Japan is projected to reach a market value of US$ 283.6 million in 2024.

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