Top players from marine and IT-industry have teamed up to jointly develop world’s first system of autonomous ships. The shared vision for the ecosystem partners is to enable fully remote controlled vessels in the Baltic Sea in three years and to achieve autonomous commercial maritime traffic by 2025.
The founding partners in the One Sea– Autonomous Maritime Ecosystem, founded in 2016, are ABB, Cargotec (MacGregor and Kalmar), Ericsson, Meyer Turku, Rolls-Royce, Tieto and Wärtsilä. The association of Finnish Marine Industries supports the work, and the Finnish funding agency Tekes has invested in the ecosystem. The leader of One Sea is DIMECC.
“The companies and organisations collaborating in One Sea are forerunners in their respective fields and the fact that our ecosystem is industry-driven separates it from many of the more or less academic exercises. One Sea ensures a well-researched, tested and highly capable autonomous shipping network”, comments Harri Kulmala CEO of DIMECC.
In order to promote autonomous traffic around the globe, the One Sea – Autonomous Maritime Ecosystem has introduced roadmaps, including a timeline towards 2025 and major themes to be investigated and levels of maritime autonomy – all minimising accidents, decreasing the environmental footprint of marine traffic, and advancing possibilities for efficiency improvement and new commercial ventures. The roadmaps have been created by the representatives of the companies included in the ecosystem and verified by a national Advisory board as well as an International Advisory Board.
“The benefits of co-creation are obvious, software experts, together with systems and equipment experts, can improve efficiency and safety throughout the whole value chain,” says Alexander Nürnberg, Senior Vice President, R&D and Technology, MacGregor.
As Tieto explains, the timeline for autonomous maritime traffic shows that the regulators will have to increase the pace at which new regulations are approved, because the technologies are advancing at such a speed, that the rules and regulations risk becoming obsolete.
The roadmaps are focused on themes as Operational, Technical, Security, Regulatory, Traffic Control and Ethical and will be introduced to the public and other maritime actors in due course. There is ongoing research and discussions with related parties regarding each of the themes and jointly they will enable commercial autonomous maritime traffic by 2025.
“While autonomous cars have been in focus, the development for road traffic has synergies to sea – One Sea – Autonomous Maritime Ecosystem is a great example of seeking new possibilities to co-create future innovations”, says Tom Leskinen, Head of Product Development Services at Tieto.