2020 January 23 16:05
KONGSBERG is going to install and test autonomous technology on two vessels in different operational environments, the company said in its release. This project is receiving funding of almost NOK 200 million (Euro 20.1 million) – one of the largest grants ever given to Norwegian players – from Horizon 2020, an EU research programme.
"The Norwegian maritime cluster, of which KONGSBERG is a part, is the world leader in autonomous shipping. Now we are further strengthening our position through the AUTOSHIP project, which will accelerate the realisation of next-generation autonomous ships and create a roadmap for commercialising autonomous shipping in the EU in the next five years," says Egil Haugsdal, CEO of Kongsberg Maritime.
AUTOSHIP, a four-year Horizon 2020* project, is a collaboration between KONGSBERG and Norway's leading research organisation, SINTEF, as well as several European partners. The Research Council of Norway is also providing support.
Two autonomous vessels will be demonstrated for use, especially in short sea coastal shipping and Europe's inland waterways.
The aim of the project is to test and further develop key technology linked to fully autonomous navigation systems, intelligent machinery systems, self-diagnostics, prognostics and operation scheduling, as well as communication technology enabling a prominent level of cyber security and integrating the vessels into upgraded e-infrastructure.
The other vessel to be equipped with autonomous technology is a Belgian pallet shuttle barge owned by Blue Line Logistics NV. This operates on canals in Europe, transporting goods to and from large container ports. Europe's inland waterways can achieve major environmental gains by using new technology. An autonomous barge in operation is expected to take around 7,500 trucks off the roads each year and will result in reductions in both traffic congestion and emissions.