Rolls Royce, the automotive giant, announced that their pursuit to bring crewless ships is moving ahead with the support from the government backed groups. The company is planning to release the first fleet of their autonomous ships by the year 2020. It is expected that this move will reduce the cost of sea transport by about 20%.
Rolls Royce is working together with bodies such as the Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships, which has been established by Norway’s Maritime Administration and DIMECC, funded in part by Tekes, the innovation investment arm of the Finnish government. Apart from the research work going on at Northern Europe, the company is planning other research projects in Singapore and Britain.
Rolls-Royce’s Vice President of Innovation, Oskar Levander, revealed to the press association that the team is working first on the regulation that covers the commercial ships like tugboats and ferries before bringing the cargo vessels to the international waters. It won’t help when you’re looking for a Bareboat charter in Scotland, but will when it comes to getting things shipped from China quickly.
According to him, the development of regulation will be done in different countries and these states will give the permission for the vessels to operate before the international regulations are set right. It is elected that major shipping firms will adopt this technology to boost their efficiency and profitability.
The shipping giants are facing loss due to the slowdown in the industry. AP Moller-Maersk in a release informed that they had a loss of 1.9 billion US dollars (£1.5 billion) in a year earlier this month. The ships with new technologies are expected to make great changes in the industry. The crews, insurers, and the security firms all will get benefitted by this.
However, maritime unions have raised their concerns about the crewless ships. They feel that the training provided in the industry is not fast enough or updated according to the technological developments.
Mr. Levander admitted that the skills needed by the crew will change and more importance should be given to cyber security.