Rolls-Royce to launch autonomous ship research project

5 July 2015 (Last Updated July 5th, 2015 18:30)

Rolls-Royce is leading a new €6.6m advanced autonomous waterborne applications initiative to develop specification and preliminary designs for the next-generation of advanced ship solutions.

Rolls-Royce is leading a new €6.6m advanced autonomous waterborne applications initiative to develop specification and preliminary designs for the next-generation of advanced ship solutions.

The project will explore the business side of autonomous applications, safety and security implications of designing and operating remotely operated ships, and the legal and regulatory implications of the work.

In addition, it will assess the existence and readiness of a supplier network to deliver commercially applicable products.

"We are excited to be taking the first concrete steps towards making remote controlled and autonomous ship applications a reality."

The Rolls-Royce-led technological work stream will combine the implications of remote control and autonomy of ships for propulsion, deck machinery, and automation and control using established technology.

Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team head Esa Jokioinen said: "We bring a world-leading range of capabilities in the marine market to the project, including vessel design, the integration of complex systems, and the supply and support of power and propulsion equipment.

"We are excited to be taking the first concrete steps towards making remote controlled and autonomous ship applications a reality."

Funded by Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation, the project will incorporate universities, ship designers, equipment manufacturers, and classification societies.

It will also bring together expertise from Finland’s top academic researchers from Tampere University of Technology, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Åbo Akademi University, Aalto University, the University of Turku, and members of the maritime cluster including Rolls-Royce, NAPA, Deltamarin, DNV GL, and Inmarsat.

The project is expected to run until the end of 2017.