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Rolls-Royce invests in autonomous ship R&D

09th March 2017 - 14:30 by The Shephard News Team

Rolls-Royce invests in autonomous ship R&D

Rolls-Royce has received funding to further its work in developing remote and autonomous shipping technologies, the company announced on 8 March.

The research grant, from Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, will enable Rolls-Royce to further invest in a research and development centre in Turku, Finland. The company plans to carry out further development projects there focused on the future development of land-based control centres, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.

The company is currently investing in a range of research and development projects. In Norway, this includes a new Marine Fleet Management Centre in Aalesund, to allow remote monitoring, data analysis, optimisation of ships and their on board equipment. The centre will allow Rolls-Royce to apply its 'Power by the Hour' concept, already proven in its aerospace business, to serve the marine sector. This service makes use of big data to monitor, plan and perform maintenance and repairs of onboard ship equipment.

Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, director, digital and systems – marine, said: 'We are pleased to see the establishment of a centre for Remote Control and Autonomous Ships in Finland, and welcome the continued support from Tekes. We are looking at further funding and capability opportunities in countries including Finland, Norway, UK and Singapore to develop our ship intelligence technology and build customer partnerships worldwide.

'By drawing on our existing capabilities in our marine business, together with the global expertise we have across the Rolls-Royce Group and our relationships with partners, we believe we can secure up to £200m of investment to revolutionise shipping.'

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