Rolls-Royce and MacGregor to explore autonomous containerships

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

24 March 2017


MacGregor and Rolls-Royce have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on research and development aimed at exploring the implications in autonomy for cargo ship navigation and cargo systems onboard containerships. This collaboration will harness both companies' unique experience laying the groundwork for the development of autonomous container ships. Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director Digital and Systems, said: "Rolls-Royce is pioneering remotely controlled and autonomous ships and believes such a remote controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade and a common sight on the high seas by 2030. For the full benefits of such a change to be realised many activities currently done today manually will need to be done autonomously. This research will help us explore how that might be achieved. As a leading provider of cargo handling solutions and services for container vessels, MacGregor brings a detailed knowledge of the cargo sector and can provide valuable insights into marine cargo operations and the technology and systems needed to make them as efficient and safe as possible Pasi Lehtonen, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Business Development and Marketing, MacGregor said; "MacGregor wants to reshape and transform the industry to make it much more efficient, safer and more sustainable. In the segments where we operate, we see a lot of unnecessary waste in the forms of inefficiency, damage to cargo, and continuously dangerous working conditions." Pasi added: "Our aim is to minimise this waste from the value network and this collaboration on autonomy for container ships is a good example of where industry leaders work together to transform the industry."