We heard many times about self- driving cars or vehicles. Now this Self-driving or we can say autonomous technology also used for ship. The World’s 1st Self-driving ship launch in 2018. This is a electric power ship. The two Norwegian companies are taking the lead in the race of making the World’s 1st crewless and Self-driving ship.
The name of Self- driving ship is Yara Birkeland. The capacity of this Yara Birkeland ship has to carry 100 to 150 shipping containers and this will minuscule by modern standard. The electric ship is designed to navigate itself using the global positioning system, radar, cameras and sensors. It could be a huge turning point for the global shipping industry.
The costs of this ship will $25 million, its 3 times more than conventional ship of similar size. But this will save up to 90% costs in annual operating cost because of eliminating fuel and crew both. Initially Yara Birkeland is start delivering fertilizer along a 37 – mile route in Southern Norway. This project will transition to fully autonomous operation only in stages.
The Yara Birkeland is being developed by the agricultural firm Yara International and Kongsberg, guidance system makers for civilians. Yara’s head of production said that,” The Company would look to invest in bigger ships and use them for longer routes once international regulations are in place for crewless ships.”
Shipping executives say, “The autonomous ships will be popular for short sea routes, but they doubt it will replace oceangoing ships that move thousands of countries.”
Lars Jeasen, Chief executive of SeaIntelligence Consulting in Copenhegen, said,” It’s not a matter of technology, which is already there, but a business case. Autonomous ships are expensive to begin with and have to be built very robust, because if they break down, the cost of getting a team to fix them it in the middle of the ocean will be very high.”
Mr. Ostbo said,” We want to go zero emission. Even if someone say climate change is not reality, it’s a business reality because clean sources of energy are more affordable than fossil fuels.”
The Birkeland will become autonomous in stages. Firstly, a single container will be used as a manned bridge on board. Then the bridge will be moved to seaside and become a remote operation center, In the end he ship will run fully on its own, under supervision from seaside, in 2020.
Geir Haoy, Kongsberg’s chief executive, said” When the bridge goes on land, it will be something like flying a drone from a command center. It will be GPS navigation and lots of high-tech cameras to see what’s happening around the ship.” Mr. Haoy said once the regulation is in place, then this can spread rapidly. He said, “This is a lot of interest from operators of coastal tankers, fish –transport ships and supply ships that are knocking on the door.”
The Norwegian companies are not alone in this the race of making Self – driving ships. British manufacture Rolls-Royce Holding PLC is investing in similar plans and technologies to launch robotics ships.
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