Rolls-Royce recently announced that they’ve been working on autonomous and remote-controlled shipping technologies that could lead to unmanned cargo ships by 2020.
In a white paper (pdf) presented by the Rolls-Royce-led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications initiative (AAWA) at the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium 2016 in Amsterdam,
Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, President – Marine, speaking at the conference said: “Autonomous shipping is the future of the maritime industry. As disruptive as the smart phone, the smart ship will revolutionize the landscape of ship design and operations.”
The crew-less ships would be operated remotely via manned onshore computer control centers, which allows for trackable, real-time monitoring of vessels worldwide. One onshore operator could conceivably control a fleet of ships from a central command console.
Ship design would also change. Crew-less ships would eliminate the need to build crew quarters or decks on board, even lifeboats would become unnecessary – which in turn would increase cargo capacity. Read more from the press release here…
posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee