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The global unmanned ground vehicles market size was valued at USD 2.57 billion in 2018 is projected to reach USD 7.45 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 14.95% during the forecast period.
Unmanned ground vehicles are products that operate without an onboard human presence and can be used for many applications where it may be dangerous, inconvenient, or impossible for a human operator. UGVs have sensors to observe the environment, and make autonomous decisions about its behavior or pass the information to a remote human operator. In remote controlled mode, it is operated by the operator based upon either direct visual observation or use of sensors and digital video cameras. A fully autonomous UGV is a robotic device that operates without the need for a human controller.
Unmanned robots are also known as UGVs, and are useful in civilian and military operations to perform a variety of mission-critical assignments. These vehicles have a variety of applications such as search and rescue missions, reconnaissance work, border surveillance, monitoring buildings and infrastructures, and goods transport, as well as mine clearance and explosive ordnance disposal.
Furthermore, some of the government agencies in the US are developing UGVs such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) uses UGVs for planetary exploration, Department of Homeland Security employs UGVs for search and rescue. Furthermore, the energy department needs these vehicles for nuclear site maintenance and coal mining, and Department of Transportation is developing unmanned ground vehicles as trucks, cars, and buses that can drive themselves. HORIBA MIRA Ltd had developed latest generation UGV VIKING which is designed to carry and also used for different missions such as combat/ direct fire, soldier support, security, and others.
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Introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Develop Intelligent Autonomous Systems is a Lucrative Opportunity for Manufacturers
In recent years, manufacturers started focusing on developing technologically advanced products for efficient and reliable operations. Introduction of advanced technology such as artificial intelligence in unmanned ground vehicles improves the vehicle performance. Intelligent unmanned autonomous systems are systems that are man-made and capable of carrying out operations or management by means of advanced technologies without human intervention.
In 2018, Roboteam launched a new Artificial Intelligence Control Unit (AI-CU) software. It is used to provide intuitive control and operation of unmanned systems and payloads. Furthermore, it provides unique features such as facial recognition, autonomous navigation, and other AI-enabled capabilities for operators of unmanned systems.
Development of Compact UGVs for Marine and Industrial Applications
Unmanned ground vehicles have a great potential for naval operations, playing a vital role in support of Marine Corps combat. The full development and deployment of UGVs capable of operating in a wide variety of situations drive the market growth.
The Marine Corps can use the unmanned ground vehicle in support of all phases of its operations. UGVs can be used to investigate interior spaces during urban operations, investigate caves or other concealment areas in nonurban operations. Furthermore, the other naval applications include uses in base security, logistics, beach mine clearing, surf zone, explosive ordnance disposal at ranges, and use as forwarding fire-control observation platforms for shore bombardment. Thus, due to a wide variety of applications, there is a continuous demand for small UGVs for naval operations.
Moreover, small unmanned ground vehicles used for industrial applications use LiDAR for collision avoidance and maneuvering throughout facilities. These small ground vehicles are also used to automatically transport materials throughout a manufacturing warehouse.
Increase in demand for Autonomous Systems for Defense and Commercial Applications Propels the Market Growth
An increase in demand for autonomous unmanned ground vehicles from the civil and defense sector due to its wide variety of applications. The UGVs are used in the agriculture sector as well for a variety of purposes that includes irrigation management, soil sampling, mechanical weeding, precision spraying, and crop harvesting. The rising demand from the defense sector is due to its applications in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) activities, combat support, and others. In 2016, Russia had manufactured an unmanned ground system, Nerehta. It is armed with a variety of weapons including a 7.62mm machine gun. The Nerehta vehicle operates in three variants—combat, transportation & logistics support, and intelligence gathering.
Development of Smart Robots to Carry Out Combat Operations Drives the Unmanned Ground Vehicles Market
The introduction of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced navigation systems to develop smart robots will aid the growth of this market. The autonomous navigation system allows a robot to move from a preprogrammed location to another, avoid obstacles and even follow other vehicles in a convoy.
Furthermore, these smart robots are used for variety of military applications such as security, fire and bomb fighting, ISR activities, search and rescue, and others drive the market growth.
In 2019, Iranian Army Ground Forces launched their military hardware that includes bullet-proof tactical vehicles and smart robots.
Reduction in Defense Budget, Bandwidth Issue, and Less Reliability Restrict the Market Growth
Reduction in military expenditure from various countries and limited spending on research and development will restrict market growth. Interruptions in bandwidth with the wireless solutions and even with some wired solutions that caused slow reaction time for the controller to the actual UGV. The bandwidth affects the other interconnected ground vehicles due to slow reaction time. Moreover, these vehicles are not able to detect the location of enemy soldiers and even develop a detailed description of the enemy household. Thus, the connectivity issues hampers the unmanned ground vehicles market growth.
Wheeled Segment to Gain Momentum Owing to Demand for Robust UAVS
Based on the mobility, the market is segmented into wheeled, tracked, hybrid, and legged. Among these, the legged segment holds the highest market shares in this market. The wheeled segment will continue its domination during the forest period as these UGVs are increasingly used for critical missions and best suited for rough and unpredictable terrains.
The tracked segment is anticipated to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the high power compared to wheeled unmanned ground vehicles. The tracked UGVs are the most powerful out of all the ground based vehicles. The hybrid segment will witness moderate growth due to its features such as lightweight, high speed, low production cost, and others.
Increasing Use of Small UGVs for Military Combat Applications drive the Growth of the Market
Based on the size, the market is classified into small, medium, large, very large, and extremely large. The small segment holds the highest market share and is predicted to be the leading market segment during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increasing use of small unmanned ground vehicles for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) activities, search and rescue, combat operations, and other defense applications.
The large UGV segment will show a significant growth in this market during the forecast period. The growth is due to deployment of ground based military robots for target acquisition, logistics and cargo transportation, mine and IED detection and disposal, and others.
The medium segment shows the moderate growth owing to the features such as affordable, size, lightweight. It has capability to lift heavy loads and operate in rugged terrain.
Increasing demand for Fully Autonomous Unmanned Ground Systems Propelling the Market Growth
By mode of operation, the market is classified into tethered, teleoperated, and autonomous. The autonomous segment leads this market. The autonomous UGVs have significant potential to be integrated into various commercial, military, and law enforcement applications. The tethered segment will witness a significant growth during the forecast period. Tethered operated ones are expected to be used for applications where an uninterrupted power supply is needed. Most of the countries started investing in the development of autonomous troops for the defense applications.
Teleoperated UGVs show moderate growth owing to the increasing demand for industrial inspection applications, and rescue operations. These vehicles are mostly preferred in urban search and rescue (USAR) as it provides safety and efficiency.
Introduction of Advanced Navigation Systems in UGVs Drive the Market Growth
By system, the market is divided into payload, controller system, navigation system, power systems, and others. Among these, the navigation system segment leads the unmanned ground vehicles market. The system is easy to operate and reduces operator workload by utilizing an intuitive image-based control framework for UGV navigation. Payload segment will witness significant growth in this market during the forecast period. Technological advancements in sensing, control, and computing enabled a new generation of technologies that improves the performance of these vehicles. Power system holds a moderate market share in the UGV market owing to the increasing use of battery-operated unmanned ground vehicles.
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Growing Demand for Smart UGVs for Military Operations Drives the Market Growth
By application, the market is segmented into commercial, military, law enforcement, and federal law enforcement. The military application segment will show the highest growth during the forecast period. The growth of the military segment is attributed to the increasing automation in various military applications such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), combat support, and transportation.
Commercial segment will witness significant growth due to increasing use of UGVs for commercial applications such monitoring, mapping, construction sites, agriculture operations, and others. The law enforcement segment will show a moderate growth during the forecast period due to use of UGV for bomb disposal units, and surveillance activities.
North America Unmanned Ground Vehicles Market Size, 2018 (USD Million)
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The Unmanned ground vehicles market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, The Middle East, and Rest of the World. North America holds the highest market share in this market. This growth is attributed to the increasing defense expenditure and higher spending on research and development (R&D) from the U.S. The presence of key players in North America, which includes Oshkosh Defense, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and General Dynamics Corporation is projected to boost the market.
Asia Pacific will witness a significant growth in the market during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the increasing investments from several countries on defense operations across the region. Countries such as India and China have increased their defense budgets and procurement of advanced systems for military operations.
In Europe, the UGV market will witness moderate growth due to the presence of key players such as QinetiQ Group Plc, ECA Group, and others driving this market across the region. Rest of the world will witness moderate growth during the forecast period. This growth is owing to the increasing expenditure on defense and strengthens military forces by several countries in the region.
Rapid Technological Advancements in UGV’s and Increased Expenditure on R&D by Key Market Players Drives the Market Growth
Development of semi-autonomous robotics for future combat systems and route clearance and reconnaissance robot programs are the upcoming trends in the market. Furthermore, squad mission support systems and brain computer interaction technologies are the technologies developed by key players for enhancing operations. A vast product portfolio, coupled with innovative technology and increasing expenditure on R&D, is the prominent factor responsible for the dominance of the key market players.
An Infographic Representation of Unmanned Ground Vehicles Market
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The unmanned ground vehicles market report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on this market and the detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for all possible 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 trends by individual segments, 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.
Value (USD Million)
By Mode of Operation
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market was valued at USD 2.57 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 7.45 billion by 2026.
Growing at a CAGR of 14.95%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2019-2026).
The military and homeland security segment is estimated to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.
Increasing demand for Autonomous UGV in Military and Commercial Applications drive the Growth of the Market
General Dynamics Corporation., Oshkosh Defense, Northrop Grumman Corporation, and among others, are some of the leading manufacturing companies in the market.
North America is projected to be the largest shareholder in the global market. Increasing use of UGVs for commercial and military applications in the U.S. is anticipated to boost the market in North America.
Introduction of advanced technologies such as AI, Machine learning, and development of compact UGVs are the latest trends in the market.
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