Rolls-Royce imagines a future of unmanned ships

Unmanned cargo ships could become a reality on our oceans within the decade, according to manufacturer Rolls-Royce.The firm has been showing off the designs for its concept crewless ships.The EU is funding a 3.5m euro £2.8m project dubbed Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence Munin which aims to develop its own autonomous ship.Experts remain divided over whether such vessels will become a reality.No crew Writing about the future of shipping Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royces vice president of innovation, engineering and technology said: “Now it is time to consider a road map to unmanned vessels of various types. Sometimes what was unthinkable yesterday is tomorrows reality.”Given that the technology is in place, is now the time to move some operations ashore? Is it better to have a crew of 20 sailing in a gale in the North Sea, or say five in a control room on shore?” he asked.A remote-controlled ship would look quite different to a traditional one, he added, largely because there would be no need for the facilities and systems currently needed for a crew.

via BBC News – Rolls-Royce imagines a future of unmanned ships.