Rolls-Royce has entered a collaboration agreement with Finland-based ferry operator Finferries to develop strategies and solutions to optimise the safety and efficiency of ships.

Under the collaboration, the companies will jointly develop innovative technology for decision support systems, as well as demonstrate remote and autonomous ferry operations.

The partnership will also explore the feasibility of a new research project, Safer Vessel with Autonomous Navigation (SVAN). Rolls-Royce and Finferries will try to implement the findings from the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications (AAWA) research project.

AAWA was funded by Business Finland and concluded last year.

Rolls-Royce and Finferries were also involved in AAWA, which brought together various stakeholders from the shipping industry to research the commercial and technical viability of next-generation advanced ship solutions.

Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence senior vice-president Karno Tenovuo said: “This new collaboration agreement could take safer, cleaner shipping to the next level.

“This new collaboration agreement could take safer, cleaner shipping to the next level.”

“Rolls-Royce will develop solutions to enhance the safety and efficiency of marine operations in the ferry sector, which will be demonstrated in the test platform provided by Finferries.”

With the collaboration, Finferries also aims to benefit both its customers and the environment by focusing on the increasing reliability of marine traffic.

Finferries’ latest addition to its fleet, Elektra, is Finland’s first battery-driven hybrid ferry. The ferry’s battery packs can be charged directly from the grid.

In October, Finferries joined One Sea Ecosystem, which was founded in 2016 by industry partners to achieve their joint goal of autonomous maritime traffic.