VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Rolls-Royce to develop autonomous ships

15 November 2016 (Last Updated November 15th, 2016 18:30)

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has entered into a strategic partnership with Rolls-Royce to design, test and validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has entered into a strategic partnership with Rolls-Royce to design, test and validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships.

Both the companies will utilise their individual skills to develop smart vessels that can be deployed for commercial use.

Under the collaboration, Rolls-Royce will be able measure the performance of remote and autonomous designs by using both traditional model tank tests and digital simulation, enabling the company to develop functional, safe and reliable prototypes of smart ships.

"This collaboration is a natural continuation of the earlier User Experience for Complex systems (UXUS) project."

With the latest deal, the company further aims to realise its goal of building a commercial remote controlled ship by the end of the decade.

Rolls-Royce ship intelligence vice-president Karno Tenovuo said: "Remotely operated ships are a key development project for Rolls-Royce Marine, and VTT is a reliable and innovative partner for the development of a smart ship concept.

“This collaboration is a natural continuation of the earlier User Experience for Complex systems (UXUS) project, where we developed totally new bridge and remote control systems for shipping."

The company is currently leading the Tekes-Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation-funded programme, Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA).

AAWA provides a platform to universities, ship designers, equipment manufacturers, and classification societies to explore the economic, social, legal, regulatory and technological factors that would be required for making autonomous ships.

VTT is involved in the development of ship simulation as well as management of safety-critical and complex systems in challenging environments including nuclear safety.


Image: Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will design, test and validate the first generation of remote and autonomous ships. Photo: courtesy of VTT.