- Autonomous ships have the ability to independently control their own actions while transporting goods from one port to another. They contain next generation modular control systems and communication technology that are expected to enable wireless monitoring and control functions both on- and off-board.
- Demand for autonomous ships is rising in the marine sector primarily for economic and environmental reasons
- Most companies are focused on the development on full-size autonomous ships with the goal of obtaining cargo vessels or even passenger vessel capabilities
- In 2017, YARA AND KONGSBERG entered into a partnership to build the world’s first fully-autonomous and zero-emissions ships for commercial operations
Key Drivers of Global Autonomous Ships Market
- Demand for autonomous ships has been increasing owing to a rise in automation, increase in tourism activities, and growth in per capita income. Furthermore, steady rise in seaborne trade and recreational activities around the globe is anticipated to propel the demand for autonomous ships globally.
- Moreover, rising demand to promote safe and efficient operations in the maritime sector is also likely to boost the demand for autonomous ships in the near future
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COVID-19 Impact Analysis
- Governments of various countries have enforced nationwide lockdowns, as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has disrupted planned autonomous ships projects, globally. The pandemic has disrupted the supply of new equipment and skilled labor in the market. Moreover, the contract period for the manufacturing of ships has also increased significantly.
- On October 07, 2020, Kongsberg signed a contract with China Merchants Jinling Shipyard (Weihai) to deliver a propulsion and maneuvering system for two 230m roll-on, roll-off passenger (RoPax) vessels for Finnlines. Currently, under construction at Weihai and expected to be delivered for deployment in the Baltic Sea by 2023, the ships would each have capacity for 1,212 passengers and are specified with a focus on sustainable technologies and green operation.
Europe to Hold Major Share of Global Autonomous Ships Market
- Based on region, the global autonomous ships market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- Europe dominated the global autonomous ships market in 2019. The market in the region is estimated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. The region has largest operational fleet size and is investing on the development of autonomous ships. Companies based in Europe are investing in sustainable operations in the marine industry. Demand for yachts and cruiser powerboats is also high in the region. This, in turn, is likely to boost the demand for autonomous ships in the region.
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- North America held a vital share of the market in 2019 owing to the large fleet size and increase in seaborne trade in the region. Rise in tourism and recreational activities is estimated to boost the demand for autonomous ships during the forecast period.
- Asia Pacific held a moderate share of the global autonomous ships market in 2019. The market in the region is expected to expand at a healthy pace during the forecast period. Furthermore, investments in sea tourism industry in Asia Pacific are increasing at a rapid pace. Additionally, South Korea has launched a project to develop maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) by 2025. The aim is to build vessels with the third-level of autonomy, as defined by the IMO.
- Middle East & Africa and Latin America held relatively minor share of the autonomous ships market in 2019. The market in these regions is estimated to expand at a sluggish pace during the forecast period.