AUV demand to increase 49% by 2020, says analyst

Offshore staff

FAVERSHAM, UK – Demand for autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) is expected to increase in the commercial, military, and research sectors over the next five years at a CAGR of 10%, according to Douglas-Westwood’s (DW) new World AUV Market Forecast 2016-2020.

DW said that AUV units have evolved in the last few years from an emerging technology with niche uses to a viable solution and established part of operations in various marine sectors. There are a number of companies within the industry that have developed strong reputations as reliable providers to the military but there is still potential for further growth.

AUV usage remains niche in sectors such as oil and gas and renewables and AUV manufacturers are clearly targeting growth in these markets – new technology and concepts are consistently arriving to push the use of AUVs.

The military is expected to remain the greatest user of AUVs with demand in 2020 for more than 700 units – 73% of total demand. Research will be the second largest sector – representing 22% – while the commercial sector will account for 4% of AUV unit demand.

The report said that the greatest growth in AUV usage is expected in the commercial sector, predominately from oil and gas operators – despite the volatility of oil prices. There has been substantial interest from oil and gas companies in the technology, as operators have begun to understand cost saving potentials. However, low oil prices have reduced budgets and stymied investment in research and development – presenting a barrier to growth over the forecast.

DW said its AUV forecast has been derived through a combination of bottom up, data driven modeling and extensive industry consultation with manufacturers, operators, and research companies.


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