Rolls-Royce predicts robot ships on the water by 2020

Click to watch descriptive video — slick enough to become a TV series! 🙂

In 2014, Rolls-Royce unveiled its vision of the robotic cargo ship of the future that it believes will become a reality by 2020…At the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium 2016 in Amsterdam, the Rolls-Royce-led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications initiative presented a white paper outlining what such autonomous vessels might be like and what hurdles stand between them and the open sea.

According to Rolls-Royce, the ships of the future will have as much in common with the ships of today as the Santa Maria has with HMS Queen Elizabeth. Without human crews, autonomous ships would operate under computer control aided by shore operators. The giant cargo vessels would look like surfaced whales with smooth decks (if they have decks) and no superstructures. They would also be eerily quiet as they glide along the sea lanes using eco-friendly engines.

How to get to this tomorrow is the topic of the AAWA white paper developed by Rolls-Royce in conjunction with a consortium of partners…Part of a $7.48 million project that runs through 2017, it identifies the areas that need to be addressed and the problems that will need to be solved to create such ships, the business case for them, and how they might be integrated into conventional shipping.

The video does a smooth job at depicting the processes – with all problem solved in tidy fashion. RTFA for details and questions.

Makes a lot of sense to me. But, I’m in favor of roboticizing bank loan officers, too.

3 thoughts on “Rolls-Royce predicts robot ships on the water by 2020

  1. Roomba says:

    Rolls-Royce to Use Google Machine Learning in Quest for Autonomous Ships The agreement, believed to be the first in the marine sector, was signed Tuesday at the Google Cloud Summit in Sweden. It allows Rolls-Royce to use Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine to further train the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) based object classification system for detecting, identifying and tracking the objects a vessel can encounter at sea. The Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine uses the same neural net-based machine intelligence software that powers many of Google’s products, including image and voice search.
    “While intelligent awareness systems will help to facilitate an autonomous future, they can benefit maritime businesses right now making vessels and their crews safer and more efficient. By working with Google Cloud we can make these systems better faster, saving lives,” said Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce, SVP Ship Intelligence.
    Machine Learning is a set of algorithms, tools, and techniques that mimic human learning to solve specific problems. By analyzing existing data sets, machine learning can be used to recognize patterns in data, making predictions from previously unseen data. The bigger the data set, the more complex the patterns the model can recognize and the more accurate the predictions.

  2. Update says:

    Three ways that autonomy is affecting the maritime and offshore service industry (Jan 19, 2021)
    Autonomous shipping is coming, but what does that mean for 21st-century seafarers?
    The British Ports Association recently published a report in which it encouraged UK ports to consider the implications of autonomous ships on their operations. What challenges will ports face in preparing for autonomous ships in the future and what benefits they stand to gain from their adoption? (December 3, 2018)

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