Swiss tech giant ABB has outlined how it sees the ships of tomorrow operating – with electric, digital and connected very much to the fore.
“We are living through one of the most exciting periods in the history of the maritime industry,” claimed Juha Koskela, managing director, ABB Marine & Ports, in a release yesterday. “We believe the next generation of ships will be electric, digital and connected as the industry moves towards the use of new energy sources and automated ship operations.”
Ships featuring pure electric power and propulsion are simpler in terms of layout, ABB reckons, compared to those running on combustion engines alone, and less exposed to wear and tear. The automotive industry’s wider adoption of hybrid electric systems and autonomous control can be mirrored by the industry, ABB believes.
“Based on greater efficiency and sustainability, electric propulsion will become a maritime imperative rather than an alternative,” the company stated, suggesting batteries and fuel cells will become common onboard.