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switch U.S.-based start-up in the thick of the race to launch the first autonomous vessels

Photo: Sea Machines Robotics, Inc.

By John R. Snyder, Publisher & Editor in Chief


he race to launch the world’s first autonomous vessel is on, with a number of European marine technology companies jockeying for the lead. Rolls-Royce, for example, struck a deal last month to use Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine to train its Artificial Intelligence (AI) based object classification system to detect, identify and track potential hazards that a vessel might encounter while its at sea (read more about it in Tech News on page 46).

Rolls-Royce, which is involved in a number of joint projects to develop autonomous vessels, teamed with Svitzer this past June to demonstrate the remote control operation of the 28m harbor tug Svitzer Hermod in Copenhagen Harbor. The tug, which is designed by Canadian naval architect Robert Allan Ltd., was controlled from a Remote Control Center (ROC) at Svitzer headquarters, which docked the tug pierside, undocked, turned 360 degrees, and then was sailed to Svitzer headquarters. There was a

captain and crew on the tug at all times during the demonstration. Commenting on the demonstration, Kristian Brauner, Chief Technology Officer, Svitzer said: “Disruption through innovation is happening in almost every industry and sector and technology will also be transforming the maritime industry.” The Svitzer Hermod is equipped with a Rolls-Royce Dynamic Positioning System, which is the key link to the remote controlled system. November 2017 // Marine Log 33

Marine Log November 2017