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Rolls Royce to provide automated manoeuvring system to ferries

Rolls-Royce has signed a deal to supply its first automatic crossing system to Norwegian ferry company Fjord1, an early step towards the company’s goal of creating fully autonomous vessels.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The system, the first of its kind, will control two new double-ended battery ferries as they cross between Anda and Lote on the 1,330 km long E39 which connects communities along the west coast of Norway.

The Captain will supervise the automatic system and intervene using traditional manoeuvring systems if needed.

For the first delivery, the Captain will manoeuvre the ferry manually the last few metres to the dock. The next iteration of this product will extend the system to allow automatic berthing, which Rolls-Royce says it is looking to test in the near future.

If the Captain is not, for some reason, able to take manual control, the system stops the vessel at a safe distance from the quayside and keeps it safely positioned automatically until further action can be taken. 

“The Automatic Crossing System has been developed with the company’s Ship Intelligence programme and will help the customer meet their contractual need to ensure predictable energy consumption optimised for varying environmental conditions,” said Jann Peter Strand, Rolls-Royce, product manager, automatic & control – marine.

“It is a step on the road to realising Rolls-Royce’s goal of remote and autonomous vessels.”

The Automatic Crossing System can be installed as an add-on to any standard Rolls-Royce azimuthing thruster, meaning it can be retrofitted to existing fleets of ferries.

Construction of the Anda and Lote will take place at the Tersan Shipyard in Turkey, with the vessels due for delivery in 2017 before commencing operations on 1 January 2018.{/mprestriction}

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