As Smart Machine Technologies Evolve, Market Charges Forward

April 05, 2016

Wellesley, Mass., April 05, 2016 – As smart machine technologies continue to evolve over the next 10 years, the growth rate for this dynamic market should increase significantly, yielding an anticipated market gain of more than $32 billion between 2016 and 2026. BCC Research reveals in its new report that during the forecast period 2021-2026, the autonomous robot segment should set a blistering growth pace with a five -year CAGR of 34.8%.

Smart machines are hardware or software systems that can accomplish their designated task even under conditions of uncertainty and variability. Smart machines also are able to operate autonomously (without direct human supervision) or at least semi-autonomously; adapt to and learn from changing conditions in real time; and communicate with other machines.

The global market for smart machines, which reached $6.6 billion in 2015, should reach $7.4 billion and $15 billion in 2016 and 2021, respectively, reflecting a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15%. In 2026, this market should total $40.3 billion, with a five-year CAGR of 21.9%. Expert systems made up the largest share of the market in 2015, followed by autonomous robots and intelligent assistants. However, by 2026 intelligent assistants should represent the largest market segment, followed by autonomous robots, and then expert systems.

This report identifies and quantifies the potential market for various types of smart machines, including: virtual reality assistants (e.g., Siri); intelligent agents (e.g., automated online assistants); expert systems (e.g., medical decision support systems, smart grid); embedded software (machine monitoring and control systems); purpose-built smart machines (like neural computers); and autonomous robots (including self-driving vehicles).

Recently, a more sophisticated generation of autonomous robots has become commercially available. These advanced robots offer greater mobility, dexterity, flexibility, and adaptability than their predecessors. They combine artificial intelligence with advanced sensors and actuators, and are constructed from improved materials. These technological advances, coupled with declining costs, are making new uses possible, ranging from space exploration to military operations, from industry to mowing lawns.

The global market for autonomous robots was worth nearly $1.4 billion in 2015. This figure is expected to approach $1.6 billion in 2016, exceed $2.7 billion in 2021 and nearly total $12.2 billion in 2026, with a five-year (2021-2026) CAGR of 34.8%.

“The market for self-driving vehicles, which is currently minimal and expected to remain so through 2021, is expected to start growing rapidly after 2021 and exceed $4.4 billion by 2026,” says BCC Research analyst Andrew McWilliams. “Such a sales figure would put self-driving vehicles in first place in front of consumer robots, sales of which are projected to reach $2.9 billion in 2026. Military robots should be at third place in 2026, with sales of $2.4 billion, followed by robots for mining and energy production ($1.4 billion).”

Smart Machines: Technologies and Global Markets (IAS094B) analyzes the markets for various types of smart machines such as virtual reality assistants, intelligent agents, expert systems, embedded software, autonomous robots, and purpose-built smart machines. The report reviews key enabling technologies across future generations of smart machines, and presents data from 2015, estimates for 2016, and five-and 10-year projections of CAGRs through 2026.

Editors and reporters who wish to speak with the analyst should contact Steven Cumming at

Smart Machines: Technologies and Global Markets( IAS094B )
Publish Date: Mar 2016    

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