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The global inertial measurement unit (IMU) market size was USD 17.34 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 24.91 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.52% during the forecast period (2020 – 2027).
Inertial measurement unit (IMU) is an electronic device containing accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers that are used to measure movement and orientation of objects. The accelerometer sensors can measure acceleration and velocity. The gyroscope measures the rotational rate and rotations, and the magnetometer is used to measure the magnetic field strength. These sensors can measure the current speed, turn rate, heading, inclination, and acceleration of any IMU integrated platform. An IMU has the ability to provide a target location in three-dimensional space.
Moreover, in some applications, measurement of accurate attitude and position is not the primary factor. In such applications, these instruments offer acceleration, and orientation changes over short durations to fulfill the needs of the application. Therefore, an IMU is used in multiple commercial as well as military applications including helicopters and commercial aircraft, civil aircraft, military aircraft, military armored vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, unmanned marine vehicles, survey equipment, automated vehicles, smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, missiles, and space launch vehicles. Furthermore, the growing trend towards miniaturization is raising the demand for micro-sized IMU in the aviation, space, and the consumer electronics industries.
Additionally, growing usage of unmanned vehicles for military and commercial applications, growing adoption of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and rising demand from the consumers for equipment with better ergonomics are some factors that are driving the inertial measurement unit market growth during the forecast period. However, the accumulated error associated with IMU system and outbreak of coronavirus are expected to hamper the market growth for the short term. Despite this, growing development in driverless cars, evolving artificial intelligence (AI) technology to design automated robots, and booming augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are expected to create ample opportunities for high-end inertial systems.
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Growing Adoption of Miniaturized Devices to Reduce Overall System Size and Weight
The evolving technologies necessitate the incorporation of small-sized components and devices. This demand is increasing to design and develop highly efficient, portable, lightweight, and micro-sized systems with high performance and reliability. Therefore, the demand for miniaturized devices is increasing steadily from multiple end-use industries, including aerospace & defense, automotive, consumer electronics, and marine/naval, among others.
Moreover, the space and aviation industry are very stringent in size and weight requirements. Also, integrated inertial navigation systems is crucial in the space and aviation industry as it is used to provide accurate location coordinates. This led to an increase in demand for miniaturized IMU to design and develop unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite systems, among others. These miniature devices consist of micro-gyroscope, micro-accelerometers, and micro-magnetometers. Furthermore, with miniaturization, the size of the consumer electronics system is reducing; this has led to rising demand for micro-sized IMUs for smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, and other smart electronic devices.
Growing Usage of Unmanned Vehicles for Military and Commercial Applications to Boost the Market
Evolving technologies, including machine learning (ML), advanced navigation systems, and AI, are used to design smart robots that operate remotely or operate using sensor technology. These evolving technologies have led to an increase in the development of unmanned vehicles. These vehicles with IMU integrated autonomous navigation system can move from a base location (preprogrammed location) to destination, by avoiding obstacles. Therefore, unmanned vehicles are largely used in various military applications such as fire and bomb fighting, ISR (Intelligent, surveillance, and reconnaissance) activities, security, and search and rescue, among others. Moreover, these vehicles can operate on different platforms such as air, land, and underwater. They are also used in commercial applications such as parcel delivery, ariel photography, and agriculture, among others. This growing usage of unmanned vehicles is driving the IMU market growth during the forecast period.
Growing Adoption of IMU In Variety of Consumer Electronics Devices to Fuel the Market
With the advancement in technology, the development of advanced consumer electronics devices is growing with each passing year. For instance, the evolution of mobile phones to smartphones increased their popularity among peoples. This led to an increase in demand for smartphones. Moreover, emerging 5G technology will further increase the development of smart mobile phones, smartwatches, and tablets in the coming years. Furthermore, owing to low cost, small size and power consumption, and high performance, IMUs are largely used in consumer electronics devices as an orientation sensor. Their increased adoption in consumer electronics devices is driving the growth of the inertial measurement unit market during the forecast period.
Accumulated Error Associated with IMU Integrated Navigation Application to Restrain Market Growth
An IMU can provide accurate data of several measured parameters such as acceleration, speed, direction, and magnetic field around an object. However, these devices used for navigation applications are suffering from accumulated error. IMU-integrated systems are always calculating the changes relative to itself. Therefore, while measuring, an IMU always rounds off small fractions, which further accumulate over time. This small manipulation can turn into a significant error. Owing to this disadvantage, the system is unable to provide an accurate actual location, which is likely to restrain market growth. Despite this, the integration of IMU in a system coupled with the corrective technology can help to eliminate the accumulated error.
Coronavirus Outbreak to Hamper Market Growth
The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 infection is expected to hamper the inertial measurement unit market growth for the short-term. Owing to lockdown, manufacturing units of IMU integrated systems have been closed down temporarily to reduce the spread of the infection among workers. This is one of the key market trends observed and affects the demand, development, and procurement of IMU- integrated systems, which directly hampers the growth of this market. However, the growing requirement for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance and parcel delivery is expected to increase the demand for IMUs in the coming years.
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Growing Demand For Low-Cost MEMS Accelerometer is Expected to Aid Market Growth
Based on components, the inertial measurement unit market segments include accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers. Among these, the accelerometers segment held the largest market share owing to their use in consumer electronics devices. The accelerometer measures the acceleration of a coupled system or device. Therefore, it is largely used in applications such as smartphones orientation detection, earthquake detection, tablets, vehicle dynamics, medical devices, and tilt sensing, among others. Moreover, the growing trend of adoption of MEMS technology is led to increasing the adoption of a cost-efficient MEMS accelerometer during the forecast period.
The gyroscope segment is expected to grow with the fastest growth rate during the estimated time. This growth is attributed to the growing development and demand for UAVs for ISR applications. Also, the rising rate of aircraft deliveries is expected to increase the demand for gyroscope sensors.
Growing Demand of MEMS Sensors to Achieve User’s Application Demand
Based on technology, the market is segmented into a mechanical gyro, ring laser gyro, fiber optics gyro, MEMS, and others. Among these, the MEMS technology is growing at the fastest rate owing to increased adoption of MEMS sensors in a variety of industry applications such as aerospace & defense and consumer electronics. These sensors offer advantages such as high-performance metrics, low cost, low weight, and high reliability. Therefore, the growing demand for the MEMS accelerometer, MEMS gyroscopes and MEMS magnetometers are upscaling the MEMS technology segment during the period 2020-2027.
Rising Demand for IMU By Various Industry Verticals is Expected to Boost Market Growth
By platform, this market is classified into airborne, ground, maritime, and space. Among these, the ground segment is expected to dominate the inertial measurement unit market share during the forecast period. This dominance is due to the growing usage of inertial measurement units in aerospace & defense and commercial electronics and automotive industry applications. Moreover, IMUs are also used in GPS-based vehicle tracking system and automotive navigation system to provide accurate measurement of speed, specific force, acceleration, angular rate, and direction. Furthermore, they are also used as orientation sensors in multiple consumer electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices, among others.
Growing Demand for Missiles Due to Geopolitical Tensions is Expected to Propel market Segment Growth
Based on the end-use industry, the global market is divided into aerospace & defense, consumer electronics, marine/naval, automotive, and others. Among these, the commercial electronics segment is expected to dominate the market during the estimated time. This large share is attributed to the increasing adoption of consumer electronic devices such as smartphones, wearable devices, and GPS enable consumer electronics devices, among others. Therefore, the growing adoption of consumer electronics products in high growth regions such as North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific has led to an increase in the demand for IMUs.
The aerospace & defense segment is expected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period owing to rising defense expenditure by emerging economies such as China and India. Moreover, growing disputes among neighboring countries and the changing nature of warfare is spiking the demand for advanced missiles and unmanned vehicles to enhance surveillance capabilities.
The findings based on our research methodology indicate that North America is anticipated to lead the IMU market share during the forecast period. This large share is attributed to the presence of a large number of IMU manufacturers, who are facilitating market growth in the region. Moreover, the U.S. emerged as the highest military spender in the world in 2018.
Europe held the second large market share in IMU market during review time. This share is attributed to the rising technological advancements in the region such as increased adoption of MEMS technology for the development of advanced IMU components. Also, the growing demand for UAVs to strengthen safety and security is driving the market growth in Europe.
As per our market research report, growing disputes among neighboring countries have led to an increase in defense expenditures in emerging countries such as China and India. Furthermore, the key players involved in market has increased their investment to develop advanced IMUs and achieve applications demand from consumer electronics industry. These factors are expected to drive the market growth in the Asia Pacific during the forecast period.
South America and Middle East and Africa subregion are expected to witness significant growth during the estimated period owing to increased defense spending.
Adoption of New Technologies for Development of Advanced IMUs And High Investment In R&D Activitiesto Sustain Market Growth
The inertial measurement unit market is highly fragmented, with the number of major players present in high-growth regions such as North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Growing investment in R&D and the adoption of new technologies to develop advanced products are prominent strategies that are adopted by the key players to sustain in this market. Also, the key manufacturers are adopting organic and inorganic growth strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, new component launches, and long-term contracts with their national military and defense departments.
North America Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Billion)
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The inertial measurement unit market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on IMU systems and detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for the segments in the market.
Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption of advanced technology, recent industry developments such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, Porter’s five forces analysis, business strategies of leading market players, macro and micro-economic indicators, and key industry trends.
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Value (USD Billion)
By End-use Industry
In 2019, the global market size was USD 17.34 billion and it is anticipated to reach USD 24.91 billion by 2027, growing at a stellar CAGR of 9.52% during the forecast period (2020-2027).
In this market, accelerometer type, airborne platform, and consumer electronics industry segments are expected to be the dominant segments, and MEMS technology segment is the leading segment
Growing usage of unmanned vehicles for military and commercial applications and growing adoption of IMUs in a variety of consumer electronics devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches are the factors that are driving the growth of this market.
In this market, some of the key players are Safran, Thales Group, Collins Aerospace, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and Honeywell International Inc.
In the market, the key players are mainly focusing on the continuous innovation and development of IMU technology for a wide range of end-use industry applications.
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