Rolls-Royce and Finnish state-owned ferry operator Finferries have demonstrated the world’s first fully autonomous ferry in the archipelago south of the city of Turku, Finland.
The car ferry Falco used a combination of Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence technologies successfully to navigate autonomously during its voyage between Parainen and Nauvo. The return journey was conducted under remote control.
During the demonstration, the Falco, with 80 invited VIP guests aboard, conducted the voyage under fully autonomous control. The vessel detected objects utilizing sensor fusion and artificial intelligence and conducted collision avoidance. It also demonstrated automatic berthing with a recently developed autonomous navigation system. All this was achieved without any human intervention from the crew.
The Falco is equipped with a range of advanced sensors which allows it to build a detailed picture of its surroundings in real time.
The situational awareness picture is created by fusing sensor data, which is relayed to Finferries’ remote operating center on land, some 50 kilometers away in Turku city center. Here, a captain monitors the autonomous operations, and can take control of the vessel if necessary.