Autonomous Shipping Project Wins EU Investment


The European Commission has revealed that it will offer funding to an autonomous shipping initiative for vessels travelling in European waters.

According to an outline of the AUTOSHIP project, leading technology providers such as Rolls Royce and Kongsberg will work together to develop “safer and greener transport in Europe”.

As part of the initiative, AUTOSHIP will build and operate two R&A vessels, as well as the necessary shore control and operation infrastructure, before carrying out two pilot demonstrations of the ships.

Read a technical paper from the World Maritime University on whether the future of shipping will be based ashore

Testing of the vessels will address goods mobility from the Baltic Corridor to a major EU seaport and hinterland, the most relevant areas in which market demand for waterborne transport is currently growing.

The aim of AUTOSHIP is to speed up the “next generation of autonomous ships” by proving they can operate effectively in real situations and environments, including short sea shipping and inland water ways.



A technology package for this project will consist of fully-autonomous navigation, operation scheduling, and communications technology that enables a “prominent level of cyber security”.

In addition to this, digital tools and methodologies for design, simulation and cost analysis will also be developed for the whole community of autonomous ships.

AUTOSHIP is expected to help ship owners and operators improve the economy of scale of their investments, as well as boosting competitiveness and replacing a significant amount of road transport.

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