New test-bed for autonomous shipping opens in Norway

11 December 2017 (Last Updated December 11th, 2017 12:45)

Norway has officially opened a new autonomous shipping test-bed situated in the coastal town of Horten.

New test-bed for autonomous shipping opens in Norway
The ODIN USV and a working scale model of the YARA Birkeland all-electric, autonomous container vessel were on the water for the opening event of Horten test-bed. Credit: Kongsberg Maritime.

Norway has officially opened a new autonomous shipping test-bed situated in the coastal town of Horten.

The test-bed is expected to be used by the Norwegian Maritime Administration and Norwegian Coastal Administration to trial new technologies and vessels for autonomous shipping operations.

International organisations will also be able to use the space, which has been developed by Kongsberg in collaboration with the town of Horten, DNV GL, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and the University College of South East Norway.

"With critical developments in maritime autonomy technology and software taking place at Kongsberg Maritime in Horten, the location of the new test-bed will support a number of ground-breaking technology projects."

The new test-bed is situated adjacent to Kongsberg Maritime’s Horten facility and is designed to provide a convenient, safe and non-congested space to trial new maritime technologies.

Kongsberg Maritime president Egil Haugsdal said: “With critical developments in maritime autonomy technology and software taking place at Kongsberg Maritime in Horten, the location of the new test-bed will support a number of ground-breaking technology projects.

“Establishment of these test-beds are an important step, as it shows close co-operation between the people making the technology and vessels and the organisations developing the rules that will allow them to operate.”

The newly opened Horten test-bed is the third facility of its kind in Norway the fourth such approved space in the world.

It was previously used by the GEBCO-NF Alumni Team last month to conduct technology readiness tests for their solutions as part of the $7m Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE.

Kongsberg has also been using the test-bed to develop its ongoing YARA Birkeland electric and autonomous containership, among other projects.