Offshore Industry News

Unmanned Maritime Vehicles Market: 2nd Quarter ‘17

This high-level summary regarding the current state of the unmanned maritime industry for the 2nd quarter (April-May-June 2017) is provided to ECO readers for free. A full market update, including extensive analysis and links to sources is offered four times a year to subscribers via UVS Consulting.

The USV sector is exploding. Just this quarter Russia, South Korea, Japan, Norway, China, Singapore and the Netherlands have announced new solutions or projects. Even in New York City’s Time Square, a USV company has be seen displayed prominently. The entry of Mitsui into the USV Cargo sector is strong evidence of the USV sector’s diversified growth. Kongsberg continues to be bold, publicizing futuristic stakes and disruptive technology in the marine transportation sector. Every country with sizeable ports should take note. Meanwhile, the US Navy announced it is looking for a very large and fast USVs capable of transporting troops. All in all, the USV sector is doing fantastic.

The UUV sector has likely had a record quarter in terms of sales, with an estimated $40M in AUV sold for commercial and military customers. While previous quarters had shown a frenzy in the ROV sector for semi-professional uses, this quarter the excitement is for upcoming AUVs for semi-professionals. This is led by ambitious companies with financial means and global footprints, such as Aquabotix. Also emerging is a new AUV category: the micro-AUV. Many companies have announced their products in that format. This reminds me of 2012 when small commercial aerial drones came onto the scene, completely changing a landscape previously dominated by large military aerial drones.

What we saw with various navies ten years ago is unfolding this year: the increased use of underwater, aerial, and marine surface robots for a single mission. In the Gulf of Mexico mammal survey project, USVs and UUVs were used by multiple academic institutions. Ocean Infinity’s fleet of USVs and AUVs (worth close to $50M) is by far the largest UMV asset fleet out there for commercial use, often surpassing that of top-tier navies. The marine, multi-UMV service sector is also gaining traction for smaller scale UMVs, such as the new 4D Ocean company.

You can find all references mentioned in this executive summary, and more, in the full report along with excepts, links, images, videos and most importantly UVSC’s professional insight for each one of the 50 market updates. For more information on how to subscribe, click here.

By: Antoine Martin, Principal Consultant, UVS Consulting LLC

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