The UK's Automated Ships Ltd (an M Subs Ltd subsidiary) and Norway's Kongsberg Maritime have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to build the world's first unmanned and fully-automated vessel for offshore operations. In January 2017, Automated Ships Ltd will contract the ‘Hrönn', which will be designed and built in Norway in cooperation with KONGSBERG. Sea trials will take place in Norway's newly designated automated vessel test bed in the Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). The Hrönn will ultimately be classed and flagged, respectively.
Currently, only small unmanned boats are being utilised for near shore operations but there are no technical limitations to constructing large, unmanned and automated systems. The only impediments are regulatory, but with the participation of DNV GL and the NMA, and Norwegian and UK companies and institutions, it will be possible to rapidly and at low-cost be the first to market with a full-size unmanned ship.
Source: Kongsberg Gruppen
Date: Nov 1, 2016