Rolls-Royce has unveiled its new land-based control centres that are believed to remotely monitor and control the unmanned ships of the future.
The research was undertaken as a joint venture between VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, University of Tampere research centre Tampere Unit for Computer Human Interaction (TAUCHI) and Rolls-Royce.
As part of the research, Rolls-Royce presented a six-minute film, which featured a crew of 7 to 14 people who were monitoring a fleet of vessels across the world by leveraging on a series of features including interactive smart screens, voice recognition systems, holograms and surveillance drones to monitor the onboard and the surrounding ship scenario.
It had capitalised on the knowledge gained from the industries engaged in remote operation such as aviation, energy, defence, and space exploration.
VTT principal scientist Eija Kaasinen said: "The autonomous ship does not mean removing human beings entirely from the picture, as is sometimes stated.
"Unmanned ships need to be monitored and controlled and this will require entirely new kinds of work roles, tasks, tools and environments.
"The future shore control centre concept has been designed by emphasising the user experience of the human operators.
"By focusing on the operators’ point of view, it is possible to introduce meaningful, pleasurable and engaging new roles for the ships’ shore control centre professionals."
VTT and Rolls-Royce have developed the InnoLeap approach for concept design and academic studies to be presented in a graphic format.
The conception of the technology has evolved out of user studies, co-innovation, scenario stories and visualisations.
The film is said to implicate Rolls-Royce’s futuristic shipping venture known as the ‘oX’ operator experience concept and was introduced in 2014.
Remote and autonomous ships constitute one of the three elements of the company’s Ship Intelligence strategy, a portfolio of products and services which include health management solutions, optimisation and decision support, and remote and autonomous operations which will allow the customers to enhance their operations by leveraging on larger data.
This April, Rolls-Royce Helsinki is expected to release separate research findings implicating a development of remote and autonomous shipping.
Image: An image of oX Land-based control centre. Photo: courtesy of Rolls-Royce Holdings plc / Flickr.