It has been a while, but Autonomous Ships have come into the news recently. We take a look at the latest developments in Autonomous Shipping.
Ship autonomy sails forward in northern Europe
Rolls-Royce Marine and Finferries successfully completed the world’s first truly autonomous voyage, deploying the car ferry Falco in the congested waters of the archipelago, just south of the city of Turku in western Finland.
Rolls-Royce’s high-profile ship autonomy expert says that ships deployed on certain routes can operate without human intervention. We all know that the benefits of these are increased safety, reduction in human error, and lower costs.
Shipping is the most conservative of transport sectors and hence there are plenty of naysayers when it comes to ship automation and ship autonomy. However, recent demonstrations by some of the sector’s leading technology companies show that these initiatives are no longer academic exercises to see what is possible.
Automated Shipping One Step Closer
Technology group Wärtsilä successfully completed a round of test procedures of its automated dock-to-dock solution, giving a go-ahead for further advancements in rendering automated shipping a reality. In an unprecedented operation, in the presence of the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA), the system was tested on the 85-metre long ferry ‘Folgefonn’. The ship visited and docked at three ports.
Nils Haktor Bua, Project Manager at NMA, said: “We were on site for three days as witnesses to these tests; the first full-scale demonstration towards an autonomous operation of a vessel that we have seen. There is no doubt that such technology can eventually increase the safety and overall efficiency of the docking and undocking operations for ships. Of course, further development work is still ongoing, but I am impressed by how stable the system already is at this stage.”
Read about the Future of Autonomy in 2019 here!