In 2014, Rolls-Royce unveiled a robotic cargo ship concept that could be a reality by 2020. At this week's autonomous flotation symposium, company representatives spoke about the details of the project and the challenges that lie between unmanned vessels and the high seas.
According to the authors of the concept, the ships of the new generation will have much in common with modern ships. Their main difference is complete autonomy, that is, in the absence of a crew. The equipment will be controlled by a computer under the remote supervision of an operator located in the control center on the shore.
The ship's movement will be monitored by a computer linked to a variety of onboard sensors, cameras, infrared systems, radars, sonars and GPS. The robotic cargo ship will move quietly using environmentally friendly engines. It will not have cabins, wheelhouses, boats and even a deck, which will significantly reduce the cost of the final cost of ships and create an opportunity to transport more cargo.
The ship will be able to move autonomously for the main part of the route. The need for human intervention will arise only in an emergency situation.
Technicians will be able to remotely diagnose ship problems
In the creation of a robot ship, existing developments used in autonomous vehicles will be used, which also implies interaction with other ships located nearby.
The project to develop a robotic drone ship will start next year.