The design will integrate features of independent decision-making, autonomous navigation, environmental perception and remote control.

As ABS Greater China Division President Eric Kleess explains, the increasing connectivity and advanced technologies are changing the way the shipping industry operates:

“In the coming years, we will see significant changes in the way ships are designed and built, with a strong drive to develop autonomous vessels especially in China.  As a key member of this alliance, ABS is aligned closely with industry to support safer and more sustainable maritime operations.”

The Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance, chaired by HNA Technology Group Co, Ltd., was formed with nine members, including ABS, CCS, China Ship Research & Development Institute, Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute, Ltd, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Ltd, Marine Design Research Institute of China (MARIC), Rolls-Royce, and Wartsila.

The alliance officially launched the unmanned cargo ship at the end of June and expects to deliver her by October 2021.

“Through this collaborative effort, we will apply the latest technologies to develop a new autonomous ship concept,” says HNA Technology Group Vice Chairman Li Weijian.  “The newly formed alliance is advancing new innovations in ship design and operations, and also working to promote the safe adoption of these assets in the market.”