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Abstract This paper reviews the technological advances of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) since 2008, evolution of gliders and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and the roles, designs, and capabilities of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). It describes the uses for those
vehicles, how they have evolved and gained trusting users, and how they converge in complementary roles. Predictions for the evolution of unmanned maritime vehicles’ (UMVs) roles and operations are made. The paper is broad in scope and looks beyond the technology in an attempt to explain
the relationship between technology evolution and user adoption. The research and findings stem from years of technical and business analysis, reports, interviews, and assistance to stakeholders of the unmanned maritime systems (UMS) industry by the author.
The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.