China has set an autonomous cargo ship afloat for the first time. Many countries are currently experimenting with crewless vessels, for instance, Denmark, where autonomous ferries could become a reality.
Within a decade, more of Svitzer's ships could be controlled from the shore, COO tells ShippingWatch after a multiple year test in collaboration with supplier. But the Maersk-owned shipping company is not the only one testing the technology.
What will legislation for unmanned vessels look like? Who will be responsible in the case of accidents? And could computer players be the future captains of an remotely operated vessel? ShippingWatch maps out some of the biggest questions facing autonomous shipping.
After investing over GBP 100 million over the past few years, orders for autonomous technology began ticking in to Rolls-Royce last year. The company expects to soon book black figures on its major investment area, says director Kevin Daffey to ShippingWatch.
Battery-operated vessels on major trade routes seem like the stuff of a far-distant future. But according to maritime professor Roar Os Ådland from the Norwegian School of Economics speaking to ShippingWatch, such vessels are actually not so far off.