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Autonomous Ships Market Research Report Information by Autonomy (Partial Automation, Remote Operations and Full Automation, Ship Type (Commercial and Defense), Solution (Systems, Software and Structures), Fit (Line Fit and Retrofit) and Region (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World) - Forecast till 2030

ID: MRFR/A&D/6631-HCR | 133 Pages | Author: Sejal Akre| June 2024

Autonomous Ships Market Overview

Autonomous Ships Market Size Anticipated to Reach at a USD 15 Billion with CAGR Of 7% by 2020 -2030

Autonomous Ships Market

Some of the major and propelling market factors that are likely to be held responsible for driving this market towards excellent growth include the increasing investments in autonomous projects, followed by the development of next-generation of autonomous vessels. Also, there has been an excellent increase in the quantum of demand for situational awareness vessels.

COVID Analysis

In April 2020, the ICS and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) were registered to have issued a joint call that was demanding governments take urgent steps and measures to facilitate the crew change flights. The pandemic has been a tough call for the autonomous ships market especially since the pandemic had hit. In June 2020, the ICS has ly estimated that every month, a rough amount of 100,000 seafarers are likely to reach the end of their employment contract and hence, need to be repatriated. However, most of the jurisdictions have come forward and implemented continuous and restrictive rules for the group of seafarers that are transiting their jurisdiction are likely to either return home or to join a vessel.

The arrival of the novel COVID-19 has, however, caused several MASS-related projects to be hampered and hence, put on hold. Yara Birkeland was launched in Romania in February 2020 and was likely to be arriving at the Vard Brevik shipyard in Norway in May 2020, where it was projected to be fitted with control and navigation systems followed by undergoing testing. As a result of the pandemic and the major change in the  shipping outlook, Yara International has paused its further construction. It is expected the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak may result in a further stoppage in autonomous ships projects in the  Autonomous Ships Market  premises.

Market Dynamics


Autonomous ships are being considered as a good feature and hence, are likely to hold a significant market potential by several companies across geographies. These ships are expected to promote factors like safety, efficiency, and others like sustainable operations in the marine industry. The South Korean projects have been undertaken that aim to develop key technologies related to autonomous navigation and system autonomy while laying a strong and reliable foundation for early commercialization. It is anticipated that the South Korean project will capture approximately 50% of the market share of the  autonomous vessel market by 2023, as a part of the  forecast period that will be ending in 2028. These factors are likely to lead the  Autonomous Ships Industry towards excellent growth during the ongoing period.


Automation in ships in worldwide premises increases the risks of cyber threats as these ships are known to follow the satellite routes during their voyages. In the coming years, as a part of the forecast period, the market operators of marine vessels are expected to connect their ships to the growing onshore networks.

The installation of automation systems is being considered as the first step towards the complete automation of vessels as it helps to enable the integration of crucial sub-systems of marine vessels with each other through local networks. The widespread use of Big Data analytics for the development of smart ships is expected to enhance operational efficiency and further, promise a better degree of safety of the vessels. However, this automation is also expected to render the ships increase on the vulnerability to market threats from hackers. With the increasing instances of online threats and potential attacks increasing across the globe, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) followed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has come forward and introduced temporary guidelines for the prevention of cyberattacks on ships’ systems.

Technology Analysis

The autonomous ships market trends are witnessing an excellent degree of increase in the rising number of investments in autonomous projects. This market fact is likely to be followed by the development of next-generation of autonomous vessels. Also, there has been an excellent increase in the quantum of demand for situational awareness vessels. The technological advancements and deployment of the same in various market functions and segments to support the working and reliability are thus, likely to lead the defense autonomous ships Industry towards growth by the end of the forecast period in 2028.

Segment Overview

The autonomous ships industry has been witnessing the emergence of excellent market trends that are likely to prove to be helpful to the  market and hence, lead the market towards excellent growth. The  market segments are as follows:

Based on Ship Type

The autonomous ships market has been bifurcated into the ship type and includes both commercial and defense.

Based on autonomy, the  market has been divided into partial automation, remote operations, and full automation.

By fit, the autonomous ships market size has been divided based on the fit and includes line fit and retrofit. The line-fit segment had dominated the market in 2018 and is expected to register a higher growth rate during the forecast period that ends in 2028. There has been an increasing demand for new ships owing to growing sea trade across the globe is driving this segment’s growth.

Based on Solution

The autonomous ships market has been classified on the solution and includes systems, software, and solutions. The systems segment of the market dominated the market in 2018 and similar trends are expected to be registered at the highest CAGR during the forecast period that ends in 2028. Systems such as machine health information systems, communication and connectivity, and others like navigation systems provide an enhanced degree of safety, security, and communication to sailors.

Regional Analysis

The  autonomous ships market has been segmented, based on region, as well. The market operations are prevalent in regions like North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world. The market in the Asian Pacific region is likely to dominate the  market in 2028 owing to the historic market trends followed by the increasing domestic ship production in countries such as China. However, the market in the European region is expected to be the fastest-growing during the forecast period that ends in 2028. There has been increasing growth in the marine tourism industry that is driving the growth of the autonomous ships market in the region.

Competitive Landscape

The autonomous ship ports are increasing their trade and moving forward with their expansion in the  market premises because of the performance of the following market players:

  • ABB (Switzerland)

  • Kongsberg (Norway)

  • Honeywell International, Inc. (US)

  • Wartsila (Finland)

  • Rolls-Royce PLC (UK)

Company Developments

Rolls-Royce and Kongsberg are spearheading the advancement of autonomous ships by blending established technologies with cutting-edge digital solutions, such as advanced sensors and AI.

A multitude of companies, including ASV, DARPA, HNA Group, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, NYK Line, and Rolls-Royce, are actively engaged in the progress and implementation of autonomous cargo vessels.

Recent Developments

Kongsberg Gruppen ASA (Norway):A leading manufacturer of maritime technologies, Kongsberg has developed the K-MATE autonomous ship system, which has been used in several successful trials, including the world's first autonomous cargo ship voyage in 2020. In May 2023, they partnered with Wilhelmsen to develop and deploy autonomous container vessels.

Rolls-Royce plc (UK):A global leader in power systems and propulsion technologies, Rolls-Royce is developing a range of autonomous ship solutions, including the IntelliShip concept and the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA). In February 2023, they announced a partnership with Shell to develop a shore-to-ship autonomous transfer system for LNG carriers.

Wärtsilä Corporation (Finland):A leading provider of marine power and propulsion solutions, Wärtsilä is developing autonomous navigation technologies and integrated systems for autonomous ships. In March 2023, they announced a partnership with DNV to develop and deploy autonomous ferries in Norway.

Sensors, as a part of the market, are expected to play a pivotal role in the rising development of connected and autonomous ships. In 2018, a prominent inclusion of the autonomous ships market - Kongsberg Maritime introduced a new and integrated technology platform for the working of autonomous ships to support the rising degree of situational awareness through the processes of sensor fusion technologies, where the traditional navigation sensors such as radar and sonar are likely to be combined with cameras and lasers.

Report Overview

The defense autonomous ships market report has been prepared to help the market investors understand the functioning of the market and the factors that prevail in the market during the period that ends in 2028. The report covers various market aspects; like the various market ways to cover the losses that have been incurred during the outbreak of the pandemic.

Report Attribute Details
2030 Market Size USD 15 Billion
CAGR 7 % (2024-2030)
Base Year 2019
Forecast Period 2024-2030
Historical Data   2020
Forecast Units Value (USD Billion)
Report Coverage   Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends
Segments Covered  By Autonomy, Ship Type, Solution, Fit and Region
Geographies Covered North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America
Key Market Drivers These ships are expected to promote factors like safety

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

Autonomous ships market’s growth rate in the coming years can be close to 7%.

The commercial ship type dominates the market.

Increasing demand for new ships owing to growing sea trade across the globe is driving the segment growth.

Full autonomous ships in greater demand in the market as they offer benefits like reduced labor costs, enhanced security and convenience.

Cybersecurity threats can slow down the market growth rate in the years to follow.

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