Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies Dismiss

Finnish ferry completes autonomous voyage with 80 passengers

Rolls-Royce and Finnish state-owned ferry operator Finferries have completed a successful demonstration of what they claim is the world’s first fully autonomous ferry in an archipelago south of the city of Turku, Finland.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The car ferry Falco used a combination of technologies to successfully navigate autonomously during its voyage between Parainen and Nauvo. The return journey was conducted under remote control.

During the demonstration, the Falco, with 80 invited guests on board, conducted the voyage under fully autonomous control. The vessel detected objects utilising sensor fusion and artificial intelligence systems and conducted its own collision avoidance manoeuvres.

The Falco also demonstrated automatic berthing with a recently developed autonomous navigation system, with all actions performed without any human intervention from the crew. The Rolls-Royce Autodocking system allowed the vessel to automatically alter course and speed when approaching the quay and carry out automatic docking.

The situational awareness picture relied upon by the ferry is created by fusing various sources of sensor data, which are also relayed to Finferries’ remote operating centre on land some 50 kilometres away in Turku city centre. From there a captain monitors the autonomous operations, and can take control of the vessel if necessary.

Rolls-Royce says it has so far clocked close to 400 hours of sea trials during autonomous operation tests in Turku archipelago.

“We are very proud that maritime history has been made on the Parainen-Nauvo-route once again – first with our world-renowned hybrid vessel Elektra and now Falco as the world’s first autonomous ferry,” said Mats Rosin, Finferries’ CEO.

“As a modern shipowner our main goal in this cooperation has been on increasing safety in marine traffic as this is beneficial for both the environment and our passengers. But we are also equally excited about how this demonstration opens the door to the new possibilities of autonomous shipping and safety.”

These trials mark the latest progress in a research project called SVAN (Safer Vessel with Autonomous Navigation), which Rolls-Royce and Finferries began collaborating on earlier in 2018 to continue implementing the findings from the earlier Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications (AAWA) research project funded by Business Finland.                                                                                                                             

“(This trial) marks a huge step forward in the journey towards autonomous shipping and reaffirms exactly what we have been saying for several years, that autonomous shipping will happen,” said Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, president – commercial marine.

“The SVAN project has been a successful collaboration between Rolls-Royce and Finferries and an ideal opportunity to showcase to the world how ship intelligence technology can bring great benefits in the safe and efficient operation of ships.”

“This is a very proud moment for all of us and marks our most significant milestone so far. (This) demonstration proves that the autonomous ship is not just a concept, but something that will transform shipping as we know it.”{/mprestriction}

Related items

  • Weathernews to join first crewless ship trial run

    Weathernews has been selected as a member of the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship Project (DFFAS), made up of 22 domestic companies who will collaborate on the Joint Technological Development Programme for the Demonstration of Unmanned Ships administered by the Nippon Foundation.

  • Wärtsilä joins the Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project

    Wärtsilä has joined the Mayflower Autonomous ship project, providing its high-speed, high-resolution FMCW K-Band radar (24GHz) designed to provide high levels of situational awareness in densely populated marine environments.

  • MHI and Shin Nihonkai Ferry to co-develop unmanned ship navigation system

    Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has collaborated with Shin Nihonkai Ferry to co-develop technologies and systems to enable unmanned ship navigation.

  • Rolls-Royce launches Artificial Chief Engineer to support Naval autonomy

    Rolls-Royce is developing an autonomous machinery control system to allow Naval vessels to undertake long endurance missions with less human interaction.

  • Sea Machines demonstrates autonomous oil spill response

    Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has successfully demonstrated its autonomous systems in action onboard a Kvichak Marco skimmer boat during events held along the Portland harbour this week.

    Sea Machines’ on-water demonstrations took place onboard the world’s first autonomous spill response vessel. The Vigor/Kvichak Marine Industries-built skimmer boat, owned by Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC), performed remote autonomous operations in front of a live audience including those from the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), of which Sea Machines has a cooperative agreement with. Government, naval, international, environmental and industry representatives were also present.

    From a shoreside location at Portland Yacht Services, a Sea Machines operator commanded the SM300-equipped skimmer boat to perform the following capabilities:

    • Remote autonomous control from an onshore location or secondary vessel,
    • ENC-based mission planning,
    • Autonomous waypoint tracking,
    • Autonomous grid line tracking,
    • Collaborative autonomy for multi-vessel operations, and
    • Wireless, remote payload control to deploy onboard boom, skimmer belt and other response equipment.

    Sea Machines also discussed how to operate the skimmer in an unmanned autonomous mode, which enables operators to respond to spill events 24/7 depending on recovery conditions, even when crews are restricted. These configurations also reduce or eliminate exposure of crewmembers to challenging sea and weather, toxic fumes and other safety hazards.

    “Our operation of the world’s first autonomous, remote-commanded spill-response vessel is yet another significant industry first for Sea Machines,” said Michael G. Johnson, founder and CEO, Sea Machines. “But even more important is the fact that we’ve proven that our technology can be applied to the marine spill response industry – as well as other marine sectors – to protect the health and lives of mariners responding to spills. We are proud to support MSRC’s mission of response preparedness and to work alongside MARAD for these important demonstrations.”

    “MSRC is excited to work with Sea Machines on this new technology.  The safety of our personnel is the most important consideration in any response. Autonomous technology enhances safe operations,” said John Swift, vice president, MSRC.

    "This is the future of the maritime industry. It’s safer, it’s faster, it’s more cost-effective,” said Richard Balzano, deputy administrator, MARAD. “This technology is here and it will make you a believer. We are here because we want to help the maritime industry evolve. It’s about safety, the environment and reducing risk on the water.”

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Login/Register

Register or Login to view even more of our content. Basic registration is free.

Register now

Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.

 

Address:
Digital Ship Ltd
Digital Ship - Digital Energy Journal
39-41 North Road
London
N7 9DP
United Kingdom

Copyright © 2019 Digital Ship Ltd. All rights reserved           Cookie Policy         Privacy Policy