The autonomous shipping market will be worth $13.8bn by 2023, according to a new report.

Research by consultants MarketsandMarkets claims the sector is already turning over $6.1bn.

But the big increase will be driven by increasing world trade by sea and more demand for automation systems for safety, it said.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will be 7% through to 2030.

The fully autonomous segment will grow fastest of all, the company said.

"The increasing demand for autonomous ships owing to rising human error-related accidents and increased operational expenditure is expected to drive the market for the full autonomy segment," it added.

The report said the Asia Pacific region shows the highest potential for implementation of autonomous ships.

It has witnessed rapid economic development over the years, resulting in an increase in maritime trade, it added.

It identified the major players as Wartsila, Kongsberg, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce, General Electric, ABB and Honeywell International.