The autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) market is expected to grow steadily over the next six years, according to data released by Stratistics Market Research Consulting (MRC).The business analyst has predicted that the value of the global AUV sector, recorded as being US$190.56 million in 2015, is set to increase to US$505.23 million by 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9% during the forecast period.
Unsurprisingly, much of this growth is being fuelled by the offshore oil and gas sector, which is utilising AUV technology as a safer and more cost-efficent alternative to diver squads when undertaking subsea inspection work. Stratistics MRC also identifies the military sector as a crucial customer base.
Demand is particularly concentrated within North America, which currently holds the largest global share in the AUV market, while the Asia-Pacific region - and, in particular, China and India - comes in second. The report cites Kongsberg Maritime, SAAB Group, Bluefin Robotics Corp, Fugro (whose Echo Surveyor VII is pictured above) and Atlas Elektronik Group as examples of “key players” in the current AUV market.
Despite this predicted growth, stringent government regulations still remain a hurdle and could ultimately prevent the AUV market from reaching its full potential, the analyst warns.