Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen joint venture to launch an autonomous shipping only organisation entitled Massterly

Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen joint venture to launch an autonomous shipping only organisation entitled Massterly
Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen joint venture to launch an autonomous shipping only organisation entitled Massterly

The inexorable race to develop autonomous ships has taken another step forward with the announcement of an autonomous shipping only joint venture between well known shipping major Wilhelmsen Group and technology company Kongsberg, entitled Massterly.

“Norway has taken a position at the forefront in developing autonomous ships,” said Thomas Wilhelmsen, Wilhelmsen group CEO.

“[Through] Massterly, we take the next step on this journey by establishing infrastructure and services to design and operate vessels, as well as advanced logistics solutions associated with maritime autonomous operations. Massterly will reduce costs at all levels.”

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Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design

Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design
Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design

Automation presents a set of unique challenges to designers, insurers and operators of ships. In this article, reprinted from the Shipowners P&I Club website Keir Gravil, a naval architect at Frazer-Nash Consultancy in Bristol, UK discusses some of the key issues that could face automated ships of the future from a design perspective.

It is a truth recognised by many industries that the future of transportation lies with greater automation. Over the last 50 years we have seen huge changes not only in shipping, but in every form of transportation and vehicle. Aircraft now incorporate automation routinely on flights around the world, cars are being developed to drive themselves and many railways have been totally automated for some time. As each step in the evolution of transportation progresses, the human element of control is reduced or eliminated altogether. But what of shipping? Surely an industry the size and scope of international shipping faces unique challenges in the realm of automation?

The background
It is often the job of ship designers, especially those in the naval defence industry, to think ahead and anticipate future technological changes. One could argue that Continue reading “Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design”

Rolls-Royce opens autonomous ship research and development centre in Finland

Photo: From left: Director General of Business Finland, Pekka Soini; Director General of ‎the Ministry of Employment and Economy, Ilona Lundström; Minister Anne Berner; President Rolls-Royce Marine, Mikael Mäkinen; UK’s Ambassador to Finland, Tom Dodd; Mayor of Turku, Minna Arve (Photo: Pekka Leino)
Photo: From left: Director General of Business Finland, Pekka Soini; Director General of ‎the Ministry of Employment and Economy, Ilona Lundström; Minister Anne Berner; President Rolls-Royce Marine, Mikael Mäkinen; UK’s Ambassador to Finland, Tom Dodd; Mayor of Turku, Minna Arve (Photo: Pekka Leino)

Rolls-Royce has opened a state-of-the-art research facility in Turku, Finland, to develop the technologies Rolls-Royce and its partners require to shape the future of an increasingly more autonomous global shipping industry.

The new Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships includes a Remote and Autonomous Experience Space aimed at showcasing the autonomous ship technologies Rolls-Royce has already introduced as well as those in the development stage.

Commenting on how the Rolls-Royce R&D centre further strengthens Finland’s commitment to developing autonomous transport, Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner, said: “There is great global interest in autonomous vehicles and vessels as a future means of transport. The opening of the Rolls-Royce Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships here in Turku, a maritime city with a history of technological innovation, will help achieve our goal of digitalising the country’s transport sector.”

The new R&D Centre enables Rolls-Royce and its partners to carry out projects focused on Continue reading “Rolls-Royce opens autonomous ship research and development centre in Finland”

Rolls-Royce has announced a strategic review of its marine business

Image courtesy Rolls-Royce
Image courtesy Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has announced it is considering the sale of its loss-making commercial marine business, on the context of embarking on simplifying its complex business simplification of business. This may result in a reduction from five operating businesses to three core units based around Civil Aerospace, Defence and Power Systems.

As part of this exercise, the company plans to consolidate Naval Marine and Nuclear Submarines operations within the existing Defence business, and Civil Nuclear operations within the Power Systems business, to facilitate a more fundamental restructuring of support and management functions in particular.

“Building on our actions over the past two years, this further simplification of our business means Continue reading “Rolls-Royce has announced a strategic review of its marine business”

Yara Birkeland autonomous and zero emission vessel test model design demonstrated

A six metre long model of the final design of the autonomous and zero emission container vessel “Yara Birkeland” was launched in SINTEF Ocean’s sea laboratory in Trondheim, Norway, on 28 September.

In May, Yara announced the partnership with technology company Kongsberg to build the world’s first electric container ship.

The vessel will be built and put to use late 2018, as part of Yara International’s logistics value chain at the plant in Porsgrunn, Norway. The project is a collaboration between Yara and KongsbergGruppen, a Norwegian technology company.

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