The global autonomous marine vehicles market was valued at about $2.96 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $4.63 billion at an annual growth rate of 11.8% through 2022. The autonomous marine vehicles market is being driven by a rise in hydrographic, oceanographic and environmental surveys conducted globally. A hydrographic survey measures, describes and maps features that can be found underwater. The main purpose of conducting these surveys is to produce navigational charts essential for safe transit of vessels. An oceanographic survey helps in the accurate understanding of marine and freshwater environments, for port and harbor development, wastewater and industrial outfalls, power plant intakes/outfalls and offshore disposals. An autonomous surface vehicle (ASV) provides an efficient method of undertaking a hydrographic survey, as it saves both cost and time. It is also flexible and convenient which allows for faster deployment for a number of survey requirements, from event surveys to large coastal surveys. For instance, the world’s first autonomous hydrographic survey was performed in September 2017, by 4D Ocean, after the channel coastal observatory (CCO) commissioned it to carry out a hydrographic survey of the seabed that is offshore of Hurst Spit, Western Solent, with the help of a SeaRobotics ASV 2.5.
Cyber Threats To Ships Might Hinder Market Growth
The vulnerability of ships to cyber threats due to automation is a major restraint for the autonomous marine vehicles market. This is mainly because cyberspace and its associated infrastructure are vulnerable to a versatile range of risks coming from cyber threats and attacks. The use of automation which negates the need for human intervention on ships and in ports increases the chances of security breaches. A cyber-attack can misguide an autonomous ship to move in a different direction or move to a separate port, which can lead to misplacement and delay of goods and services. For example, in 2017, container ship and supply vessel operator A.P. Moller-Maersk became a victim of a cyber-attack that resulted in a loss of around $250–300 million for the company. According to a 2017 survey by law firm Clyde & Co and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), over two-thirds of the marine industry executives surveyed from across the world fear that unmanned/autonomous ships present a greater cyber-security risk than traditional ships.
Maritime Drone Swarming Is An Emerging Trend In The Autonomous Marine Vehicles Market
Maritime drone swarming for better surveillance and investigation capabilities is an emerging trend in the autonomous marine vehicles market. Maritime drone swarms are a large group of underwater vehicles moving together for a particular purpose. The drone swarm has a wide range of capabilities in defence applications, since it is capable of performing surveillance and investigation tasks followed by defensive or offensive countermeasures. As the swarm works collectively to navigate through the underwater environment, it senses a wider area in a quick time by making use of a number of sensing techniques to build a comprehensive map of the environment. For instance, the European Union (EU) is currently funding a research project called Ocean2020 which will facilitate a combination of drones and unmanned submarines into swarms or fleet units. In another example, in 2018, the US Navy’s Undersea Warfare Center approved a grant of $78,000 for Aquabotix’s SwarmDiver technology to support the US Navy and allied vessels.