Norway-based Wilhelmsen Ships Service has been selected by the Government of Singapore to help develop the regulatory framework for the future unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
The company has also been selected to receive dedicated funding from the Government of Singapore for its shore-to-ship delivery project.
The selection was made through a call-for-proposal (CFP) issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Ministry of Transport.
A total of four companies, including Wilhelmsen, were chosen for the funding, which has a maximum value of S$1.5m ($1.1m) for each project, or up to 50% of the total project qualified costs.
In its proposal for the CFP, Wilhelmsen highlighted the potential of UAS delivery for improving safety, productivity, and efficiency.
According to Wilhelmsen, UAS could reduce the cost of shore-to-ship deliveries by up to 90% compared to traditional launch boat deliveries. A UAS-based delivery also has the potential to eliminate the safety risks associated with delivery via launch boat.
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Wilhelmsen Ships Service Ships Agency Commercial vice-president Marius Johansen said: “In itself, it will be important for us to validate the use case of parcel delivery with drones, but it will also enable us to develop key technological solutions such as ship localisation and precision landing, payload release system, light and reliable private 4G/LTE communications, onshore parcel station, and an automated package delivery system.”
In June, Wilhelmsen signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to work on the Skyways project.
Under the deal, the companies have started working on a pilot trial to deliver spare parts, documents, water test kits and 3D-printed consumables to vessels at anchorage from Singapore port’s Marina South Pier, using Airbus’ unmanned air system (UAS).