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Drone Ships On The Rise

Courtesy: US Army
February 26, 2014

A new technology is surfacing that could have a major impact on transportation on the high seas!  Rolls-Royce, the legendary engine and turbine producer, has created unmanned drone ships.  They have set up a virtual version in a Norway office.  According to the company, such ships would save a great deal of money for the shipping industry, and potentially, the military may be able to adopt this technology.


In an age of aerial drones and driver-less cars, Rolls-Royce (RR/) Holdings Plc is designing unmanned cargo ships.

Rolls-Royce’s Blue Ocean development team has set up a virtual-reality prototype at its office in Alesund, Norway, that simulates 360-degree views from a vessel’s bridge. Eventually, the London-based manufacturer of engines and turbines says, captains on dry land will use similar control centers to command hundreds of crewless ships.

Drone ships would be safer, cheaper and less polluting for the $375 billion shipping industry that carries 90 percent of world trade, Rolls-Royce says. They might be deployed in regions such as the Baltic Sea within a decade, while regulatory hurdles and industry and union skepticism about cost and safety will slow global adoption, said Oskar Levander, the company’s vice president of innovation in marine engineering and technology.

“Now the technology is at the level where we can make this happen, and society is moving in this direction,” Levander said by phone last month. “If we want marine to do this, now is the time to move.”

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