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Unmanned Ground Vehicle Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Mobility (Wheeled, Tracked, Legged, and Hybrid), By Size (Small, Medium, Large, Very Large, and Extremely Large) By Mode of Operation (Tethered, Teleoperated, and Autonomous), By System (Payload, Controller System, Navigation System, Power System, and Others), By Application (Military, Commercial, Law Enforcement, and Federal Law Enforcement), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102525



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The global unmanned ground vehicle market size was valued at USD 3.02 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 3.09 billion in 2022 to USD 4.55 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.67% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with unmanned ground vehicle experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a low growth of 2.7% in 2020 as compared to 2019.


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Unmanned Ground Vehicles provide a flexible robotic application and multiple applications and mobility support. The main applications of these vehicles are in the defense sector, carrying supplies, surveillance, and assisting in explosive activation. It reduces the risk of human lives and impressive vehicle combat performance in civilian applications. These are the primary market drivers for this market. Moreover, unmanned ground vehicles are also used for civilian applications such as nuclear plant operations, urban research and rescue, agricultural harvesting and spraying, firefighting, and crowd control.


Rising Investments in Strengthening Defense Forces Positively Influenced Demand for the Product

The Russia-Ukraine war increases defense expenditure and strengthens defense forces from NATO countries. Russian defense forces used the Uran-6 during the war. It is one of the most advanced unmanned ground vehicles. It is a medium-class complex with a distinctive jug-eared look due to the launchers on the sides. The combat vehicle is outfitted with anti-tank guided missiles, 30-mm automatic cannons, and flamethrowers from Shmel.

Most European countries have increased their defense spending due to Russia’s invasion. Germany increased its defense spending above 2% of GDP and allocated USD 109 billion, more than the total defense bill for 2021. Furthermore, Poland and Denmark also declared an increase in their defense budget for security purposes. This increased spending will enhance the overall capabilities of their military forces.

For instance, the U.S. government also approved USD 13.6 billion for humanitarian and security assistance. The U.S. will provide USD 800 million in weapons to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft systems, machine guns, small arms, grenade launchers, drones, and anti-armor systems. Thus, growing defense expenditure from European countries and growing deliveries of next-generation UGVs to Ukraine from NATO countries drive the unmanned ground vehicle market growth.


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Introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Develop Intelligent UGVs is the Latest Trend in the Market

In recent years, key players have started focusing on developing next-generation vehicles for efficient and reliable operations. The latest technology and artificial intelligence in unmanned ground vehicles will enhance vehicle performance. It is designed to withstand challenging off-grid military operations and is helpful in a wide variety of terrain such as cliffs, grasslands, snow, deserts, and muddy roads. The newly launched robots can carry up to a payload of 352 pounds (160 kilograms) and run at 10 kilometers per hour. Intelligent unmanned autonomous systems are man-made and are capable of operations or management using advanced technologies without human intervention.

For example, in February 2021, Torus Robotic Pvt Ltd., a Chennai-based startup, entered into a partnership with BEML to develop artificial intelligence (AI) based UGV. It can be used in terrain conditions, extreme weather, logistics, and surveillance. Furthermore, in January 2022, China launched the world’s largest electrically powered quadruped robot that helps the military reconnaissance missions and logistics.


Growing Demand for Autonomous Systems for Commercial and Defense Applications to Propel Market Development

The rise in demand for autonomous unmanned ground vehicles from the defense and commercial sectors is due to their wide applications. These autonomous vehicles are used in the agricultural sector for soil sampling, mechanical weeding, irrigation management, crop harvesting, and precision spraying. Furthermore, these vehicles are widely adopted by defense forces for combat support, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) activities, and others. Thus, the growing procurement of advanced robots from defense is driving UGV market growth.

The unmanned ground vehicles are embedded with three mobility levels, computer-aided driving, teleoperation, and autonomous control. The systems consist of vision sensors, radar, LIDAR, ultrasonic range, inter-vehicle communication, and GPS sensor. The UGVs are widely used for various commercial applications such as transportation of small parcels in an automatically locked compartment, security of the area utilizing an intelligent video surveillance system, and inspection of industrial facilities using thermal cameras and gas detectors.

For instance, in February 2021, an Indian startup tied up with BEML for joint development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based indigenous Unmanned Ground Vehicle. It is a 750kg autonomous UGV, which can be used for extreme weather and terrain conditions. It can also be used for surveillance and logistics.


Reduction in Defense Budgets and Issues Related to Bandwidth and Reliability to Hamper Market Growth

Reduction in military spending from various countries across the globe and reduced expenditure on research and development hinder the market growth. Interruptions in bandwidth with the wireless solutions and even with some wired solutions caused a slow reaction time for the controller to the actual UGV. The bandwidth affects other interconnected vehicles due to slow reaction time. Moreover, UGVs cannot detect the location of enemy soldiers and even develop a detailed description of the enemy household. Thus, hampering the growth of the market.

For example, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the U.S. military expenditure amounted to USD 801 billion in 2021, which shows a drop of 1.4% from 2020. The U.S. military burden decreased slightly from 3.7 percent of GDP in 2020 to 3.5% in 2021.

UGVs include various hardware systems such as sensors, communication systems, and control systems. Failure issues in these hardware systems may hamper the market growth. Dropped signals in wireless-controlled robots were the most frequently encountered problems in communication. In addition, there is a waste of time due to occluded camera views and incorrect lighting during search operations. Hence, factors such as component failures and reliability issues hinder the market growth.


By Mobility Analysis

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Rising Number of UGV Procurement Contracts and Development of Autonomous Robots for Numerous Applications

Based on mobility, the market is divided into wheeled, tracked, hybrid, and legged.

A tracked segment was estimated to be the largest segment in 2021. The segment is projected to be the fastest growing segment with a maximum CAGR during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the growing defense expenditure, and procurement of next-generation tracked UGVs from various countries. Adaptability and maneuverability in rugged terrain as they only come into contact with the ground at the tiniest points is the main advantage of the legged system.

The wheeled segment is estimated to have the largest market share after the tracked segment in 2021. Its growth is due to rising demand for UGVs for military operations. The need for unmanned wheeled vehicles is increasing in industrial, natural, and mining environments, used for area mapping, scene understanding, and manipulation.

For example, in June 2020, FLIR Systems secured contracts worth USD 23.5 million under the U.S. Army’s Man Transportable Robotic System Increment II (MTRS Inc II) program. Under the contract, the company will deliver 160 Centaur (UGV) units to the U.S. army and navy.

By Size Analysis

Increasing Demand for Small and Lightweight Robots for Military and Commercial Applications to Boost the Segment Growth

Based on size, the market is divided into small (10-200 lbs), medium (200 - 500 lbs), large (500 - 1000 lbs), very large (1000- 2000 lbs), and extremely large (>2000 lbs).

The small (10-200 lbs) segment was estimated to be the largest and fastest-growing in 2021. The growth is due to increasing demand for small and lightweight robots for military and commercial applications for various military operations such as intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), and combat operations. Industrial small UGVs also use LiDAR for collision avoidance and maneuvering throughout facilities. Furthermore, small UGVs are used for commercial applications, thus driving market growth.

The small segment is followed by the medium (200 - 500 lbs) segment and showcased a significant growth rate during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the introduction of next-generation robots and rising spending on the defense sector from various countries.

By Mode of Operation Analysis

Experimentation with Advanced Autonomous UGVs from Key Players to Drive Market Growth

By mode of operation, the UGV market is classified into tethered, autonomous, and teleoperated. An autonomous UGV (AGV) is an autonomous robot that operates without requiring a human controller based on artificial intelligence technologies. Autonomous vehicles for industrial, natural, and mining environments, are used for area mapping, scene understanding, and manipulation. These vehicles provide autonomous smart sensing, mapping, and inspection. Mobile manipulators also provide adaptive sensing and object manipulation.

The autonomous segment dominated the global market in 2021. The segment is also anticipated to dominate the market from 2022-2029. The growth is due to the growing adoption of autonomous UGVs for ISR, search and rescue operations. The teleoperated segment is estimated to be the largest segment, with the highest market share in 2021. The segment is also expected to the fastest growing after the autonomous segment during the forecast period. The growth is due to its advantages such as enhanced situational awareness, head-aimed remote viewer, low-latency digital video, and others

For instance, in May 2022, the British Ministry of Defense entered into a contract with Rheinmetall AG to supply seven Rheinmetall Mission Master autonomous unmanned ground vehicles (A-UGVs) to assess their effectiveness in operating with ground troops.

By System Analysis

Increasing Demand for UGV Payload Added to the Market Growth

Based on system, the market is segmented into payload, controller system, navigation system, power system, and others.

The payload is the weight an unmanned ground vehicle can carry. It is usually counted outside of the vehicle's weight and includes anything additional to the vehicle such as extra cameras, and sensors. The payload segment is the fastest growing segment during 2022-2029 and will be dominant by 2029.

The navigation segment dominated the global market in 2021 and will witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growth is due to the rising use of UGVs for various applications. A navigation system is one of the important systems in unmanned systems as it provides real-time location information.

By Application Analysis

Rising Use of UGVs for Various Military Applications to Drive the Growth of the Segment

Based on application, the market is classified into military, commercial, law enforcement, and federal law enforcement. The military segment dominated the global market in 2021 and is also expected to lead during the forecast period. This segment is also the fastest growing segment during 2022-2029. The unmanned vehicle has saved many lives in the military sector. The application of UGV includes explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) such as landmines, heavy loading items, and repairing ground conditions under enemy fire. The military uses UGV technology to develop robots outfitted with machine guns and grenade launchers that may replace soldiers.

The commercial segment follows the military segment in terms of the unmanned ground vehicle market share and growth rate. The growth is due to the increasing use of robots for commercial applications in the healthcare, transportation, and automotive sectors.


North America Unmanned Ground Vehicle Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)

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Regionally, the market is divided into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Rest of the World.

North America dominated the global market in 2021 at USD 1.02 billion in 2021 and is estimated to dominate throughout the forecast period. The dominance of the region is due to the highest defense budget and increasing spending on procurement of next-generation military robots for numerous applications. For example, in April 2021, the U.S. Army signed a contract worth USD 31.6 million with FLIR Systems to build the Man Transportable Robot System Increment II (MTRS Inc II). It can detect, identify, confirm, and dispose of concealed explosives.

Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest market growth throughout the forecast period. The region's dominance is due to the highest defense budget and increasing spending on the procurement of next-generation military robots for numerous applications. The growth is due to increasing defense budgets from India and China. Furthermore, the rapid expansion of military forces, rising political disputes among neighboring countries, and increasing terrorism lead to the growing demand for UGVs.

Europe also showed a significant growth rate during the forecast period. Its growth is attributed to the rising defense expenditure from countries such as the U.K., Russia, Germany, France, and others. In August 2021, Russia's Ministry of Defense signed the contract for a prototype of the Shturm unmanned ground vehicle system based on the T-72 main battle tank (MBT).


Focus on Development of Robotics System to Drive the Competition in the Market

L3 Harris Technologies Inc. is a global unmanned ground vehicle leader with a market share of 15.6%. Advanced solution development through large investment in R&D activities, collaboration and agreement with operators, and providing cost-efficient solutions to the customers led to the company’s success. L3Harris Technologies is a U.S.-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products, systems, and services.

The company focuses on the design and manufacture of a robotics system. The company designed the T4 robotics system; the system is a versatile, highly mobile unmanned ground vehicle with high strength and all-terrain, all-weather performance. T4 robot has the power and agility to support the most challenging commercial and military missions such as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) detection, and Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) clearance



  • May 2022: BAE Systems PLC introduced a Robotic Technology Demonstrator (RTD) built on the lower hull of the M113 armored fighting vehicle. The vehicle was demonstrated on 19th May at the Experimental Demonstration Gateway Exercise 2022 (EDGE22).

  • April 2022: Oshkosh Corporation signed a strategic partnership with Robotic Research to invest in Robotic Research to enhance its innovation and autonomy offerings. The new collaboration and joint development agreement will further complete Oshkosh’s ongoing work in autonomous vehicles and equipment.

  • September 2021: L3Harris Technologies Inc. signed a contract with the U.S. Air Force valued at USD 85 million to provide UGVs to help protect bases. The agreement includes robots, robotics support, maintenance, and training. The 10-year IDIQ contract covers the provision of up to 170 T7 UGVs to replace the existing 20-year-old Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) system.

  • June 2021: Rheinmetall AG introduced the new Mission Master XT, the latest member of its Mission Master family of A-UGVs. The Rheinmetall Mission Master XT is highly mobile, even in the toughest terrain, and capable of carrying impressive payloads

  • May 2021: The U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force signed a contract with FLIR Systems to develop 600 units of the medium-sized Centaur unmanned ground vehicles used for explosive ordnance disposal missions. The value of the contract was worth more than USD 70 million.


An Infographic Representation of Unmanned Ground Vehicles Market

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The UGV market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, end-users, design, and technology. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD billion)

By Mobility

  • Wheeled

  • Tracked

  • Hybrid

  • Legged

By Size

  • Small (10-200 lbs)

  • Medium (200 - 500 lbs)

  • Large (500 - 1000 lbs)

  • Very Large (1000- 2000 lbs)

  • Extremely Large (>2000 lbs)

By Mode of Operation

  • Tethered

  • Teleoperated

  • Autonomous

By System

  • Payload

  • Controller System

  • Navigation System

  • Power System

  • Others

By Application

  • Military

  • Commercial

  • Law Enforcement

  • Federal Law Enforcement

By Geography

  • North America (By Mobility, By size, By Mode of Operation, By System, By Application, By Country)

    • U.S. (By Mobility)

    • Canada (By Mobility)

  • Europe (By Mobility, By size, By Mode of Operation, By System, By Application, By Country)

    • Germany (By Mobility)

    • U.K. (By Mobility)

    • France (By Mobility)

    • Russia (By Mobility)

    • Rest of Europe (By Mobility)

  • Asia Pacific (By Mobility, By Size, By Mode of Operation, By System, By application, By Country)

    • Japan (By Mobility)

    • China (By Mobility)

    • India (By Mobility)

    • Australia (By Mobility)

    • South Korea (By Mobility)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Mobility)

  • Rest of the World (By Mobility, By Size, By Mode of Operation, By System, By Application, By Sub-Region)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Mobility)

    • Latin America (By Mobility)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights market research says that the global size was valued at USD 3.02 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow to USD 4.55 billion by 2029.

The market is expected to register a growth rate of (CAGR) 5.67% during the forecast period 2022-2029

Rising investments in strengthening defense forces significantly influenced the product demand.

North America led the global market in 2021

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