The results of a worldwide survey of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) are described. A brief history of AUVs, a discussion of the major components of an AUV, various sensors used within the offshore industry, and the various AUV capabilities are presented. Discussed are the various uses of AUVs operating currently within the military, academic world and commercial industry. Some insight into the future of AUVs is discussed using information gathered from interviews with industry experts and from industry journals and articles. A hypothetical design of a futuristic, yet plausible, Hybrid AUV/ROV is presented, based in part on current research and future needs in the offshore industry. The results of the survey indicate that even though AUVs are the new tool in the undersea environment, their potential and acceptance are growing at a very high rate and will be extensively used for a burgeoning variety of tasks in the future.

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