Rolls-Royce opens autonomous ship R&D center in Finland

(LONDON) — Rolls-Royce has opened a state-of-the-art research facility in Turku, Finland, to develop the technologies Rolls-Royce and its partners require to shape the future of an increasingly more autonomous global shipping industry.

The new Research & Development Center for Autonomous Ships includes a remote and autonomous experience space aimed at showcasing the autonomous ship technologies Rolls-Royce has already introduced as well as those in the development stage.

Commenting on how the Rolls-Royce R&D center further strengthens Finland’s commitment to developing autonomous transport, Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner said, “There is great global interest in autonomous vehicles and vessels as a future means of transport. The opening of the Rolls-Royce Research & Development Center for Autonomous Ships here in Turku, a maritime city with a history of technological innovation, will help achieve our goal of digitalizing the country’s transport sector.”

The new R&D center enables Rolls-Royce and its partners to carry out projects focused on autonomous navigation, the development of land-based control centers, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.

Speaking at the official opening on Jan. 25, Rolls-Royce President Marine Mikael Makinen said, “I’m proud to say that the R&D center is now up and running and that all stakeholders, partners and customers will be able see here what a remote-controlled and autonomous maritime future could look like, and work with us to shape the future. The experience space that is part of the center here in Turku, and a similar one we have in our Technology Center in Norway, is aimed at demonstrating to our customers the very tangible benefits of what is often considered an intangible technology.” 

The experience xpace includes several interactive tables on which Rolls-Royce can showcase existing and future technologies while aiding the development and introduction of new rules and standards for autonomous shipping.

“The center allows us to more accurately communicate our capabilities, what we have available today and what will be available tomorrow,” said Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce senior vice president, ship intelligence. “It will completely focus on the development of solutions capable of smoothing the maritime industry’s transition to the digital age. An autonomous maritime ecosystem will open up unprecedented opportunities.”

By Professional Mariner Staff