Inmarsat signs up for Rolls-Royce’s autonomous ship project

Announced on the second day of London International Shipping Week (LISW), satellite communications provider Inmarsat has signed up to work with Rolls-Royce on its recently launched Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA).

The project, funded by Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation), will bring industry partners together with universities, research institutes, shipowners and other stakeholders to explore the economic, social, legal, regulatory and technological factors which need to be addressed in order to make autonomous ships a reality. Inmarsat’s role in the project is to provide the satellite communications link and platform.

“Data transfer between ships, as well as between ships and shore-based control centres, is one of the key development areas for remote controlled and autonomous ship research and forms a fundamental element of the AAWA Initiative,” Inmarsat said in a release today.

The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative will run from 2015 to the end 2017.

Ships by 2030 will be able to run by themselves, even if the regulatory side is not in place to allow for unmanned vessels, a new report launched yesterday by three British institutions has claimed.

Inmarsat has teamed up with Maritime CEO, a sister title of Splash, to launch an in depth look at the future of satellite communications in a magazine that is being distributed at LISW. Readers can access the full magazine online for free by clicking here.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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