Autonomous Ships Market 2017 Latest Trend, Applications And 2025 Industry Growth Analysis Report

The concept of autonomous cargo ships has been into existence since decades. The concept has gained momentum with the advent of advanced sensor technology enabling the development of driverless cars and unmanned aircraft. Autonomous ships are unmanned vessels that are operated remotely from control stations onshore. This virtually eliminates the need for any human personnel onboard. Autonomous ships are based on three basic components viz. sensor combination, control algorithm and communication. Sensor combination includes fusing different types of radars, thermal imaging sensors, LiDAR, visual cameras and several other sensors. The data gathered from all of the aforementioned devices is used to gain an accurate perspective of the surrounding conditions. Control algorithm is designed to analyze the data gathered from sensor network for navigation and collision avoidance. The communication module is responsible for connectivity with satellite and control station.

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Market Insights

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 96% of all marine casualty occur due to human errors such as negligence and laxity in assigned duties. The aforementioned factor is quite serious and hence has given rise to the thought of autonomous ships. Autonomous ships are state-of-the-art maritime transport developed to meet competitiveness, safety and sustainability challenges of marine transportation. Autonomous ships are capable of addressing issues related to marine transportation such as human errors, casualty losses, adverse weather conditions and criminal activities. In addition, autonomous ships offer a variety of other merits such as efficient use of space in ship design, better fuel efficiency and reduction in transportation time. Autonomous ship are expected to change the marine transportation by improved optimization of operations and effective resource management.

Autonomous ships are believed to bring technological revolution in the marine industry. The concept of autonomous ships has gained prominence on account of several concerns arising from human operated ships. Human error accounts for more than 70% of the total vessel accidents caused worldwide. Thus, with a view of eliminating losses occurring due to human errors, autonomous ships are estimated to gain profound attention in the following years. Furthermore, maritime patrolling is one of the most crucial operations carried out by the naval forces across the world. With the advent of unmanned surface vessels, governments are now emphasizing on procuring such autonomous ships for defense-related applications. In the current market scenario, the use of autonomous ships has been majorly limited to applications in defense and security. However, the recent trend shows manufacturers, researchers, shipbuilding firms, and technology companies all working in unison to develop first of its kind a semi- and fully autonomous cargo ship using artificial intelligence and analytics. Companies including Yara International and Kongsberg Gruppen are the early entrants in this business segment and are seeking to gain first movers advantage. The overall demand for autonomous ships is estimated to be remarkably driven by the steadily rising expenditure over unmanned systems.

Competitive Insights:

The global autonomous ships market is fairly consolidated with a limited number of autonomous ship manufacturers across the world. Some of the leading providers in the autonomous ships market include Kongsberg Gruppen ASA, Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC, Automated Ships Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines/Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., ASV Global and Vigor Industrial.

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Key Trends:

  • Increasing investments towards testing of fully autonomous ships for commercial applications
  • Rising adoption of autonomous ships in the military and defense sector for applications such as mine counter measures, anti-submarines and maritime security, among others
  • Heavy research and development in the field of autonomous ships and vessels
  • Overall growth of shipping industry due to the growth in global trade



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