World’s first remotely operated commercial vessel leads Rolls-Royce and Svitzer to join forces

Rolls-Royce and global towage operator Svitzer have agreed to cooperate on further tests of remote and autonomous operations for vessels, following a successful demonstration of the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel in Copenhagen harbour.

Earlier this year, one of Svitzer´s tugs, the 28m long Svitzer Hermod, safely conducted a number of remotely controlled manoeuvres in Copenhagen Harbour. The captain, controlling the vessel remotely from Svitzer’s headquarters, berthed the vessel alongside the quay, undocked, turned 360°, piloted the vessel up to Svitzer HQ in Hordhaven, before successfully docking once more.

Nick Brown, directory of Lloyd’s Register’s Marine & Offshore, who provided procedure guidance for the operation, said the demonstration was “truly a landmark moment for LR and the industry.”

Following this achievement, Rolls-Royce and Svitzer have now signed an agreement to continue their cooperation to test remote and autonomous operations for vessels, focusing on autonomous navigation, situational awareness, remote control centre and communication.

Designed by Robert Allan Ship Design, the Svitzer Hermod was built at Turkey’s Sanmar yard in 2016. She is equipped with a Rolls-Royce Dynamic Positioning System that acts as a key link to the remote-controlled system, and is powered by a pair of MTU 16V4000 M63 diesel engines from Rolls-Royce, each rated 2000 kW at 1800 rpm.

A range of sensors feed advanced software that combines data in order to give the captain an understanding of the vessel and its surroundings. The data is securely transmitted to a Remote Operating Centre (ROC) where the captain controls the vessel.

The Remote Operating System was designed to redefine the way vessels are controlled, following a new systems that deviates from existing wheelhouse designs. Rolls-Royce sought input from experienced captains, who helped configure the system layout for maximum control and confidence, with the aim of creating a future-proof operating system.

Kristian Brauner, chief technology officer at Svitzer said, “Disruption through innovation is happening in almost every industry and sector and technology will also be transforming the maritime industry.”

For more information visit Rolls-Royce or Svitzer.

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