Posted on December 04, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis

Rolls-Royce and Wartsila both have announced successful dock-to-dock navigation tests using ferries equipped with their respective navigation systems.

Within just a few days of each other, both companies have successfully carried out trial runs of their software, that were being used onboard Scandinavian passenger ferries.  

On November the 28th, Wartsila announced that the hybrid-powered ferry, Folgefonn, had completed a full three-stop route in Hordaland, Norway, using only the navigational software suite onboard the vessel.

The vessel was staffed, in case the situation would call for human intervention, but during the trip the only human interaction with the vessel, was the Master pressing the “sail” button on the console.

Folgefonn then went on to leave the dock, sailed out of the harbour towards its next port of call, and docked at its next destination, without any sort of human intervention in the process.

Wartsila described the test as an unprecedented success, claiming that it was the first ever fully automated dock-to-dock operation in complete hands-off mode, for a vessel of this size.

Rolls-Royce on the other hand, announced their successful navigation test trial on the 3rd of December. The test took place aboard the ferry Falco, which is owned by the Finnish state-owned Finferries.

The vessel sailed from Parainen to Nauvo in a fully autonomous mode, which included collision avoidance tests and automated docking, while on the return trip, the vessel was remotely operated by a captain in an office building in Turku.

The official trial run was a resounding success. Rolls-Royce had already engaged in over 400 hours of trials run with the vessel before inviting Finish regulators on board.

“This is a very proud moment for all of us and marks our most significant milestone so far. Today’s demonstration proves the autonomous ship is not just a concept, but something that will transform shipping as we know it.” said in a press release, the president for Rolls-Royce, Mikael Makinen.

Posted in News , Automation , Shipping , Technology

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