A 160-Mile Autonomous Navigation Trial Successfully Concluded by a Norwegian Vessel

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Norwegian company Kongsberg has completed a 13-hour autonomous journey at sea using a range of technologies on a cargo vessel off Norway. The Eidsvaag Pioner, a 1,467-dwt vessel registered in Norway and operated by Eidsvaag, was used in the demonstration. The journey involved undocking from the quay at Averøy, sailing between islands while avoiding other vessels, carrying out various manoeuvres using dynamic positioning systems and then docking automatically. The test was part of the AUTOSHIP collaboration between Kongsberg, Eidsvaag, Norway’s research organisation SINTEF and the University of Strathclyde in the UK, and sponsored by Horizon 2020, an EU research programme.
Fully autonomous transport is being pursued in a number of countries, including Japan and South Korea. Norway has identified itself as one of the leading proponents of the technology, and has built a Remote Operation Center in Ålesund. A project involving Kongsberg and fertilizer company Yara, the Yara Birkeland, has been recognised as Norway’s first vessel designed for autonomous operations. Crew members must be present during autonomous tests due to safety considerations and existing regulations.
Kongsberg CEO Geir Håøy called for the development of the key enabling technologies that will help remote and autonomous shipping become routine in the future. The AUTOSHIP project seeks to develop technology linked to fully autonomous navigation systems, intelligent machinery systems, self-diagnostics, prognostics and operation scheduling. The second AUTOSHIP demonstration is scheduled for June 1 and will involve a cargo barge navigating through part of Belgium’s inland waterway network.

Tags: autonomous, navigation, demonstration, Norway, Kongsberg, Eidsvaag, Autoship


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