Smart&Green Ship Rendering. Foto: Torqueedo

Autonomous driving in inland shipping: “Smart & Green Ship” research project

Many experts believe that autonomous ships will be the first vehicles in the world to reach Level 5, i.e. full autonomy. According to experts, autonomous ships face different challenges than self-driving cars. Boats and ships on inland waterways tend to travel at relatively slow speeds and there is less vehicle and passenger traffic. In addition, many inland vessels travel on a relatively fixed route, which makes navigation easier than on land.

In December 2023, the market leader for electromobility on water, Torqueedo GmbH, announced its participation in the joint research project “Smart & Green Ship” of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and the Development Center for Ship Technology and Transport Systems e. V. (DST). The aim of the project is to significantly advance fully autonomous driving in inland shipping by exploring versatile combinations of automation and emission-free drive systems. The construction of the 15 meter long test platform required for this in the form of a highly efficient watercraft is being carried out by the Felleryachting shipyard in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Fully automated river shipping paves the way for a more environmentally friendly future for inland shipping

The focus of the project is the development of a test platform: an inland waterway vessel with a catamaran-like exterior that will be able to transport both goods and people in the future. The test platform’s two floats, which support the hull above the water, are equipped with solar panels to keep the vehicle operational without any additional energy source while in port. The test ship’s electric propulsion system consists of two 50 kW Deep Blue engines powered by four Deep Blue 80 batteries installed in the stern of the ship. The “Smart & Green Ship” is expected to be handed over to the project partners by Felleryachting in September 2024 and will then be used in the one-year test phase in the Rhine-Ruhr test field.

You can read this and other articles on electromobility and autonomous driving in the current eMove360° magazine in german language. Download the PDF onto your tablet for free or order the print version in the shop.

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14.03.2024   |  

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