Rolls-Royce opens autonomous ship R&D centre in Finland

Posted on 29 Jan 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Rolls-Royce has opened a research facility in Turku, Finland, to develop the technologies Rolls-Royce and its partners require to shape the future of an increasingly more autonomous global shipping industry.

Rolls-Royce has opened an autonomous ship facility in Turku to develop the technologies required to shape the future of an the autonomous shipping industry – image courtesy of Rolls-Royce.

The new Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships includes a Remote and Autonomous Experience Space aimed at showcasing the autonomous ship technologies Rolls-Royce has already introduced, as well as those in the development stage.

Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications, Anne Berner commented: “There is great global interest in autonomous vehicles and vessels as a future means of transport.

“The opening of the Rolls-Royce Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships here in Turku, a maritime city with a history of technological innovation, will help achieve our goal of digitalising the country’s transport sector.”

The new R&D Centre is expected to help Rolls-Royce and its partners carry out projects focssed on autonomous navigation, the development of land-based control centres, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.

Rolls-Royce president of Marine Business, Mikael Makinen said: “The experience space that is part of the centre here in Turku, and a similar one we have in our Technology Centre in Norway, is aimed at demonstrating to our customers the very tangible benefits of what is often considered an intangible technology.”

The Experience Space includes several interactive tables on which Rolls-Royce can showcase existing and future technologies while aiding the development and introduction of new rules and standards for autonomous shipping.

Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce senior vice president of Ship Intelligence, added: “The centre allows us to more accurately communicate our capabilities, what we have available today and what will be available tomorrow.

“It will completely focus on the development of solutions capable of smoothing the maritime industry’s transition to the digital age. An autonomous maritime ecosystem will open up unprecedented opportunities.”