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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday November 05 2016, @12:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-a-boat-pirates dept.

In January, the British firm Automated Ships and its Norwegian partners Kongsberg Maritime will begin work on the first offshore vessel that can be run with no captain, crew, or engineers.

The ship, named the Hrönn, is being designed as an offshore support vessel capable of delivering cargo to remote locations, launching and retrieving unmanned submersible craft, and acting as a resupply vessel for North Sea oil rigs. It will be launched next year and, pending successful sea trials, will be certified for offshore use the following year.

"The advantages of unmanned ships are manifold, but primarily center on the safe-guarding of life and reduction in the cost of production and operations; removing people from the hazardous environment of at-sea operations and re-employing them on-shore to monitor and operate robotic vessels remotely; along with the significantly decreased cost in constructing ships, will revolutionize the marine industry," said Automated Ships MD Brett Phaneuf.

The shipping industry is keener than its automotive cousins to get robot ships running commercially. The industry has been revolutionized by containers, which slashed the cost of shipping goods, and is now hoping for similar savings by taking humans out of the equation, or helping to augment them.

Sigh. There goes your bright future at sea.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:50AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:50AM (#422708)

    And, also a lot of faith in the machinery on the ship. Big ships that I know about all have onboard engineers/mechanics and well stocked repair/machine shops.

  • (Score: 2) by Username on Saturday November 05 2016, @02:27AM

    by Username (4557) on Saturday November 05 2016, @02:27AM (#422719)

    Well, they’re not like planes that will drop out of the sky if the motor goes out. They can just float there until a maintenance ship comes to fix them.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Bobs on Saturday November 05 2016, @12:36PM

      by Bobs (1462) on Saturday November 05 2016, @12:36PM (#422812)

      They can just float there until a maintenance ship comes to fix them

      Unless it is near the shore, or in a storm or the electrical systems go offline and you no longer know where it is.

      Here’s hoping they christen it the “Murphy"

      • (Score: 2) by Username on Saturday November 05 2016, @08:11PM

        by Username (4557) on Saturday November 05 2016, @08:11PM (#422915)

        Unless it is near the shore

        Then it beaches itself like any other ship would that suffers the same problem near shore.

        in a storm

        There is nothing alive on the ship, doesn’t need windows or vents, just a few water tight doors. If I were making the ship, I would design it to still work while capsized.

        electrical systems go offline

        battery powered pingers, like what they got on aircraft.

        All of this stuff would be very expensive, and wouldn’t work on a car, but would work on boatymcboatface.