Douglas-Westwood (DW) forecasts that the global AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) fleet will increase 42 per cent in the 2014-2018 period, compared to the previous five years.
The fleet is forecast to total 825 units in 2018, led by strong demand in the military sector. These are findings from DW’s 5th edition of the World AUV Market Forecast which covers the key commercial themes relevant to players across the value chain in all AUV sectors. Report author, Eduardo Ribeiro, commented, “The military sector makes up 50 per cent of AUV demand, with North America accounting for 75 per cent of this market in 2014. However, this market share may decrease to 70 per cent by 2018, as emerging economies increasingly invest in their military fleets. Overall growth of military demand in AUVs closely mirrors the investment in unmanned aircraft – so called ‘drones’. “
Increasing environmental awareness continues to drive demand for use of AUVs on research activities, with environmental sensing and research mapping combined forming approximately 47 per cent of the current AUV fleet. However, the research sector may represent a smaller proportion of the market by 2018, as commercial activities gain pace.” Report editor, Murray Dormer, continued, “Highest growth is expected to come from the commercial sector, but from a small base, more than doubling its proportion of active units during the forecast period (from 3 per cent to 8 per cent).
"Key developments have taken place in areas such as sensing, battery endurance and tracking stability, which allow a wide range of applications to emerge in the offshore oil and gas industry (life-of-field, pipeline inspections and rig moves) also in civil hydrography, in addition to existing work in site and pipeline route surveys. “North America will continue to dominate global AUV expenditure, predominantly on military unmanned technology, although the region’s market share is forecast to decrease from 64 per cent in 2014 to 60 per cent by 2018.
Africa and Latin America are set to experience the highest growth, driven by deepwater oil and gas activities in pre-salt areas. Demand in Asia will be varied with research activities in Japan, deepwater expenditure in India, Indonesia and Malaysia and military investment in China.”
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