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Autonomous Ships Market

Autonomous Ships Market Size, Share, Competitive Landscape and Trend Analysis Report by Level of Autonomy, Ship Type, Component and Fuel Type : Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2030

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Author's: Akshay Jadhav | Lalit Janardhan Katare
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Autonomous Ships Market Statistics - 2027

The autonomous ships market size is estimated to be valued at $85.84 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $165.61 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6.8% from 2020 to 2030. Autonomous ships also known as crewless ships are equipped with the software & hardware without human interference. The components such as sensors, automated navigation, propulsion & auxiliary systems, GPS tracker, and others, present in the ships help to make decision in accordance with the environment. Moreover, the partially automated ships are controlled & monitored through the off-board control centers with the interference of humans. In addition, autonomous ships have their complete operations controlled by the advanced operating systems, which enables it to take decisions and actions by itself. 

The component such as sensor, integrated radar systems, and live tracking navigation assembly used in autonomous ships are supported by the services such as IoT, Artificial intelligence (AI), and others, which help to follow mission plans, adjust mission execution, and sense the environment with the necessary decision logic. Presently, there is a demand for smart and autonomous ships, which can reduce human involvement in the operation. One of the major factors that drive the autonomous ships market share is increase in seaborne trades across the globe. 


Region wise, Asia-Pacific will drive the growth of the autonomous ships market due to the high number of ship ownership and autonomous driving. Moreover, the demand for these features will increase due to improved safety requirements in the Asia-Pacific. 

In addition, factors such as increase in the demand for cargo transportation through marines, and operational safety of ships drive the growth of the market. However, the risk of exploitation by hacking the system and increased complexity in the network hamper the growth of the market. Further, trend of complete automation in the transport sector along with increase in maritime safety norms are expected to create numerous opportunities for the market expansion. The autonomous ships market forecasted from 2020 to 2030 by considering all the driving factors that influence equally to the autonomous ships market statistics.

The autonomous ships market is segmented based on the level of autonomy, ship type, fuel type, component and region. The market trends will be decided on the basis of forecast from 2020 to 2030. Major factors that drive the growth of the market include increase in operational safety to ships and rapid developments & improvement in maritime industry. Furthermore, systems with in-built components such as AI, IoT, advance navigation system, and others improve the ship operation, thus driving the growth of the autonomous ships market.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis: 

Unlike other industries, the shipping industry have also suffered due to the COVID-19 disease. According to estimations from the International Chamber of Shipping (world's principal shipping organization, which represents around 80% of the world's merchant tonnage, through membership by national ship-owners associations), every month roughly 100,000 seafarers reach the end of their employment contract and need to be repatriated.

The key players operating in the autonomous ships market include ABB Ltd., L3 ASV, Honeywell International, Kongsberg Gruppen, Marine Technologies LLC, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce, Ulstein Group ASA, and Wartsila.   In addition, the device providers for the autonomous ships market include Sea Machines Robotics, Inc., Neptec Technologies Corp., Intel Corporation, Google LLC (Google), Shone Automation Inc., and Buffalo Automation.

Increase in demand for cargo transportation through marines

There is a rise in demand for the transportation of cargo through water ways. This is because number of cargos are efficiently transferred to the other ports owing to the safe & secure nature of marine transportation. Moreover, cargo ships are less expensive for shipping goods as compared to road and air transits as by ships, more cargo can be carried from one place to another within a short span of time. As per the records of UNCTAD, approximately 1.68 billion tons of cargo is transported every year in around 177.6 million containers covering 998 billion tons-miles. The recent developments in commercial vessels and giant players innovation of cargo ships equipped with latest technology such as advanced sensors, navigation systems and other components, creates a growth opportunity for the autonomous cargo ship market globally. For instance, Norwegian built Yara Birkeland is planning to introduce the first autonomous cargo ship in 2020. In addition, the introduction of autonomous marines especially in the cargo vessels, is expected to create a demand for transportation of cargo by sea routes. Thus, these all parameters help to lead to increase in demand for cargo transportation through marines.

Increase in operational safety of ships

The autonomous ships, which are to be introduced in the market will, not have any crew on the ship to control the operations. They will either be equipped with technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, cloud computing, and other advanced technologies or their operations will be remotely controlled from the control station located on the land. This helps reduce the number of accidents occurring due to human error as these autonomous ships are equipped with various advanced sensors, infrared cameras, developed radar and LIDAR modules, automatic identification system, and others to provide a safer operation of the ships. Furthermore, grounding of ships, shipyard accidents, tugboat accidents, cargo hauling accidents, and others are reduced to some extend by implementing automated features on ships. Hence, developments in automation helps in increasing the operational safety of ships.    

Risk of exploitation by hacking

In the fast moving era, security is a prime concern in transportation industry. The autonomous marine uses IoT technology that is connected to the internet. The misuse of navigational data through hacking has caused serious issues to the ships. For instance, in February 2019 a large international vessel has suffered a cyberattack making the ship to land in hot water. Also, in 2017, a U.S. navy destroyer ship collided with an oil tanker in Singapore, which was reported to be affected by cyberattack. So, such risk in cargo ships is anticipated to hamper the autonomous ships market growth.

Complexity of the network

The number of components are required for the proper operations of the autonomous marine. The connectivity solution for each component creates a complex structure for the overall system. These components have their own working associated which sometimes generate a large amount of data. In case of autonomous ships, the navigation system relies on some third party infrastructure such as satellite communication or terrestrial communication, which further makes the network complex as the components are installed as per the demand of the service providers. Thus, the complexity of the network coupled with its high cost are the factors anticipated to hinder the autonomous ships market growth.  

Autonomous Ships Market
By Level Of Autonomy
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Fully-autonomous segment is projected as the most lucrative segments

Anticipated trend of automation in marine transportation

The steps toward automation in the field of marine along with the demonstrations & testing of autonomous ships of giant companies has created various countries to develop automated vessels. For instance, Rolls Royce and Finland based ferry operator Finferries demonstrated the world’s first fully autonomous ferry. Also, Norwegian built Yara Birkeland is a fully autonomous ship, which is to start working in 2020. In addition, Norway-based Kongsberg partnered with Yara is planning to develop all electric vessels by 2020. Thus, based on the introduction of autonomous marine technology, the marine automation can be introduced in marine transportation, which could eventually lead to growth of the autonomous ships market in near future.

Increase in marine safety norms

There are various safety norms that are associated with travelling at the sea which is termed as Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). This includes various treaties dealing with autonomous maritime safety such as ship design and construction, navigation communications search and rescue (NCSR), ship system equipment, and pollution prevention and response. Furthermore, there will be continuous enhancements in these norms depending upon the need and advancement of the technology. Thus, the increase in marine safety norms creates an opportunity for the development of the autonomous ships market in near future.

Autonomous Ships Market
By Region
North America

Europe by region segment is projected as the most lucrative segments

Key Benefits For Stakeholders

  • This study presents analytical depiction of the autonomous ships market analysis along with the current trends and future estimations to depict the imminent investment pockets.
  • The overall market potential is determined to understand the profitable trends to gain a stronger foothold.
  • The report presents information related to key drivers, restraints, and opportunities of the market with a detailed impact analysis.
  • The current autonomous ships market size is quantitatively analyzed from 2020 to 2030 to benchmark the financial competency.
  • Porter’s five forces analysis illustrates the potency of the buyers and suppliers in the autonomous ships industry.

Autonomous Ships Market Report Highlights

Aspects Details
By Level Of Autonomy
  • Semi-Autonomous
  • Fully-Autonomous
By Component
By Ship Type
  • Commercial ships
  • Defense ships
  • Passenger ship
By Fuel Type
  • Carbon Neutral Fuels
  • Liquefied natural gas
  • Electric batteries
  • Heavy fuel oils (HFO)
By Region
  • NORTH AMERICA  (U.S., Canada, Mexico)
  • Europe  (Greece, Norway, Germany, UK, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
  • Asia-Pacific  (Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, Rest of Asia-Pacific)
  • LAMEA  (Latin America, Middle East, Africa)
Key Market Players


Key Market Players


Analyst Review

Autonomous ships are the self-driving vessels that operate on the surface of water without any crew present on the ship. They are piloted by means of artificial intelligence and can be an unmanned vessel with functioning of seafaring drone. They are combined with advanced sensors, which give a precise image of the surrounding to the artificial intelligence system of the ship making it to operate accordingly.

The growth of the autonomous ships market is driven by increase in the demand for cargo transportation through marines, and operational safety of ships. However, the risk of exploitation by hacking the system and increased complexity in the communicative network could hamper the growth of the market. Further, trend of complete automation in transport sector along with the increase in maritime safety norms are expected to create numerous opportunities for market expansion.

Among the analyzed regions, currently, Asia-Pacific is the highest revenue contributor, and Europe region is anticipated to create dominance during the forecast period, followed by North America, and LAMEA. This growth is attributed to proactive development and research in autonomous technology for the marine applications and rapid economic improvement.

Author Name(s) : Akshay Jadhav | Lalit Janardhan Katare
Frequently Asked Questions?

The global autonomous ships market was valued at $85.84 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $165.11 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 6.8% from 2020 to 2030

It is expected that the ongoing pandemic situation will result in triggering the adoption of the autonomous technology in the shipping industry, which will boost the market growth in near future.

The sample for global autonomous ships market report can be obtained on demand from the AMR website. Also, the 24*7 chat support and direct call services are provided to procure the sample report.

The market trend is toward the adoption of complete automation in the sea transport sector. There are various companies that are continuously moving toward the implementation of full automation. For instance, the world’s first automated cargo ship is being built by the Norwegian company.

Rolls Royce started the development of technologies to enable remote and autonomous operations of commercial vehicles to build the world's first fully electric and autonomous containership by Kongsberg.

The company profiles of the top market players of global autonomous ships industry can be obtained from the company profile section mentioned in the report. This section includes analysis of top ten player’s operating in the autonomous ships market.

Asia-Pacific region is leading the market presently in terms of revenue. However, Europe region is expected to provide more business opportunities for the key players operating in the global autonomous ships market.

Based on the type of the ship, the commercial ships segment is the highest contributor to the market, in 2020. However, defense ship segment is expected to grow at highest CAGR.

Based on level of autonomy, semi-autonomous segment is the matured market presently. However, the fully autonomous ships are expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period

The potential customers of the autonomous ships are the various players operating in the sea transport industry with the goal of safer and efficient operations.

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Autonomous Ships Market

Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020-2030