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Getting ready for autonomous shipping

Getting ready for autonomous shipping

Published: January 23, 2019

Autonomous and remote controlled ships might be a story for the future, but for Rolls-Royce that future is right nearby. One major question concerns safety. Route optimization through Sea Traffic Management, STM, might be a part of the solution. Anssi Lappalainen, R&D Project Manager at Remote and Autonomous Projects, Ship Intelligence at Rolls-Royce tells us more.

“You will see a demonstration from us this year. And of course one of the biggest concerns is safety. 70-90 percent of all marine accidents are related to human error. If the machine is making the decisions, it will be at least as safe or even safer.”
Rolls-Royce is developing remote and autonomous controlled ships and services which relay on data from different sources, for example of the movement of ships around you. STM will also provide information about ships anticipated movements, something which can be very beneficial for an autonomous navigation system.
Including information from Sea Traffic Management information will not only contribute to increased safety, but also increase the efficiency by route optimization and port call optimization and port call synchronization.
“We cannot focus only on a single voyage but we have to optimize the whole supply chain from the warehouse to the end customer. At Rolls-Royce we are trying to make shipping more efficient and more safe. That is exactly what, in my opinion, STM is doing. This is just another building block for our product that we can offer to our customers to help them in their everyday business.”
Besides the business opportunities, Anssi Lappalainen also sees another advantage being involved in development projects around STM.
“I believe this might be mandatory someday so that’s why we want to be one of the early adopters.”

Text and photo: Emma Edström

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