The world’s first self-driving electric ferry, known as the Zeam Ferry, is set to begin service in Stockholm from next month. The Zeam Ferry is powered by an electric motor and a 188kWh Zem battery system developed by Norwegian start-up Zeabuz. The vessel measures 39 feet and can accommodate up to 24 passengers, plus space for bicycles.
The navigation system consists of radar, LiDAR, infrared cameras, ultrasonic sensors to assist with docking, and GPS for positioning. During the first voyages, a captain will be on board to oversee operations. Construction of the ship is underway at Brødrene, and Zeabuz aims to expand the technology to other locations after completing the pilot project. The project is expected to increase the use of water transport in cities, reduce congestion and emissions, and offer new opportunities for passenger ferries.
The autonomous ferry project is part of research into autonomous sea transport in urban environments by the Ports of Stockholm, which received funding from the Swedish Transport Administration for a two-year project. Zeabuz announced in February 2023 that it had received an additional NOK 20 million (approx. US$1.9 million) in seed capital from a group of leading technology companies, which includes Yinson Green Technologies and Statkraft.
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