The Rolls-Royce led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) project has expressed its support for vessel automation in commercial service and hopes to introduce autonomous ships by 2020.
“Autonomous shipping is the future of the maritime industry. As disruptive as the smart phone, the smart ship will revolutionise the landscape of ship design and operations,” said Mikael Makinen, president of Rolls-Royce's marine division.
The firm predicts that this development will arrive soon and is confident that engineering hurdles will not become an obstacle.
“This is happening. It’s not if, it’s when. This work supports the development of remote controlled and autonomous vessels and will enable proof of concept demonstration following the completion of the project,” said Oskar Levander, VP of innovation at Rolls Royce Marine.
ESL Shipping Limited is also supporting the use of autonomous ships for short sea shipping.
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