Kongsberg has remotely controlled a general cargo vessel, Eidsvaag Pioner, on a test journey from the port of Averoy to a sea fish farm and back off the coast of Kristiansund in northwestern Norway. A second trial is scheduled for 1 June using a barge on the inland waterways around Wintam, in Belgium. The testing was part of the €30m ($34m) EU-funded Autoship project, which aims to improve autonomous ship technologies. Key features included automatic undocking and docking, situational awareness systems, autonomous navigation, machine intelligence, connectivity and cybersecurity systems, and dynamic positioning.
The test showed that remotely operated and autonomous technology could be successfully deployed on a general cargo vessel to manage various operational aspects of a typical journey. The technology could pave the way for routine remote and autonomous operations in the future. Kongsberg collaborated on the Autoship project with partners including DNV GL, Norwegian maritime companies and research institutions.