Rolls-Royce secures grant to invest in technologies for remote and autonomous shipping

Rolls-Royce announced that it is ramping up investment in technologies for remote and autonomous shipping at its R&D centre in Turku, Finland, after securing a grant from Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for innovation.

The maritime industry is lagging behind in the adoption of autonomous technological advancements, with little AI or machine-learning being used in the industry.

Sauli Eloranta, head of innovation and technology at Rolls-Royce Marine, said that the initial applications of the technology will likely to be in condition monitoring of machinery.

Eloranta was quoted by The Engineer as saying:

“Vessels are complex systems, and they are quite difficult to master in their entirety, so machine learning is useful when you want to optimise a very complex system.”

According to The Engineer, Sauli also said that the technology could be implemented to improve a ship’s awareness of its surroundings.

The main focus of the technology will be to help ships determine what to do using information received from sensors, such as deciding when it might be necessary to carry out an evasive manoeuvre.

“We will be doing the engineering and R&D work [at the centre], but also piloting and demonstrating the technology on board full-sized vessels,” Eloranta added.

In this article, the word ‘shipping’ refers to ships in general (collectively).