Finland: Rolls-Royce and Finnferries trial world's first autonomous ferry

13 Dec 2018 | Network Updates | Update from Business Finland
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

Rolls-Royce and Finnish state-owned ferry operator Finferries today successfully demonstrated the world’s first autonomous ferry in the archipelago south of the city of Turku, Finland.

The car ferry Falco, used a combination of Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence technologies to successfully navigate its way between Parainen and Nauvo. During the demonstration, the Falco, with 80 invited VIP guests aboard, conducted the voyage under fully autonomous control, with the vessel detecting and avoiding objects without any human intervention from the crew.

During the autonomous operation the Rolls-Royce Autodocking system was demonstrated for the first time. This feature made the vessel automatically alter course and speed when approaching the quayside and it carried out automatic docking without human intervention. Once docked, the ferry was automatically held in position without the need for mooring lines.

Earlier this year Rolls-Royce and Finferries began collaborating on a new research project called SVAN (Safer Vessel with Autonomous Navigation), to continue implementing the findings from the earlier Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications (AAWA) research project. Both projects have been funded by Business Finland, as part of the One Sea ecosystem. Read more about the Rolls-Royce and Finferries collaboration here.

"In Business Finland, we believe that the most competitive innovations arise in ecosystems where companies and research organizations work together for a shared business vision. Ecosystems are the way for Finns to reach the world's innovation and growth chains. This is where we want to invest also in the future. We warmly congratulate Rolls-Royce and Finferries for showing world the direction of modern maritime," says Pekka Soini, Director General of Business Finland.

This release was first published 3 December 2018 by Business Finland. 

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