Driverless cargo ships, what’s next?

car shipping, cargo shipping, Rolls RoyceWe previously reported on driverless cars, but have you ever heard of a driverless cargo ship?

Based in Alesund, Norway, the Blue Ocean team from Rolls-Royce have developed a simulation prototype, which demonstrates a 360-degree view from the vessel’s bridge.

According to Rolls-Royce, they envision a future whereby captains remain docked on dry land and command several cargo ships from a single control center.

These so called “Drone Ships” are seen as safer, more environmentally friendly and cheaper. Although, there will be savings made in terms of fuel, due to a lighter vessel and the cost of employing a crew to man the ship, there is also much skepticism in terms of safety standards, the risk of piracy and union opposition due to loss of jobs.

Supported by the European Union, a prototype is currently being prepared that will test the costs and benefits, via virtual-reality sea trials

We could see “Drone Ships” transporting cargo, including cars in as little as 10 years.

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