Autonomous ships have recently received significant attention in the maritime industry on a global level. The market is projected to reach USD 13.8 billion by 2030, driven by expected cost reductions in maritime and offshore operations, and improved safety of transportation. Societal safety will also be increased with transportation moved from roads to sea. The Norwegian maritime industry, with projects like Yara Birkeland, is currently one of the market leaders, but countries such as China, Japan, South Korea and Finland pose strong competition. Therefore, for Norway to stay ahead, it is imperative to take the lead in strategic areas of autonomous shipping. The Centre partners have identified the trade-off between safety and cost of operations as critical for the future of autonomous shipping. The following areas are identified as key enablers for balancing the trade-off, and thus the focus areas of the Centre: 1) Disruptive technological innovations, in areas such as sensor fusion and situational awareness, AI, autonomy and automation, digital infrastructure, human factors and remote-control centres, simulation and testing technology. 2) New business models that look at the larger transport system and result in design of sustainable operations. 3) Addressing the overarching challenge of safety and assurance, to guarantee that integration of all technology components will satisfy predefined operational performance and safety requirements in a holistic manner The aforementioned challenges cannot be solved in isolation. The added value of SFI AutoShip is to gather key actors from the Norwegian maritime cluster, representing the whole spectrum of end users, product and service providers, research institutes, universities and authorities to address these challenges. Through long-term research activities based on applied use cases, the Centre will educate highly qualified graduates will staff the Norwegian industry and help it stay ahead of the competition.
Project leader: Mary Ann Lundteigen
Institution: NORGES TEKNISK-NATURVITENSKAPELIGE UNIVERSITET NTNU