Select Page

There has been a lot of discussion about autonomous vehicles on the land and in the air, but what about on the sea? While the world got the first glimpse of a fully autonomous ferry thanks to the collaboration between Rolls-Royce and Finferries, the state-owned ferry operator of Finland, there’s still quite a bit of work to be done before we can expect the world’s waterways to be overtaken with autonomous vessels.

The Incredible Autonomous Ships Of The Future: Run By Artificial Intelligence Rather Than A CrewADOBE STOCK

Levels of Autonomy

Even though we might be years or even decades away from the majority of vessels becoming autonomous, there are certainly artificial intelligence algorithms at work today. A fully autonomous ship would be considered a vessel that can operate on its own without a crew. Remote ships are those that are operated by a human from shore, and an automated ship runs software that manages its movements. As the technology matures, more types of ships will likely transition from being manned to having some autonomous capabilities. Autonomous ships might be used for some applications, but it’s quite possible that there will still be crew onboard some ships even if all hurdles to acquiring a fully autonomous fleet are crossed.