On course for the next generation of maritime.
Autonomous shipping is the safe passage and navigation of a vessel, in addition to the monitoring and operation of its on-board systems. Linked to the rapidly increasing digitisation throughout the maritime industry, it is a technology that is still very much in its early stages, with Rotterdam leading the way.
Why go Autonomous?
Autonomous shipping is based on a foundation of big data and will increasingly use AI and machine learning to develop further. These tools will yield numerous benefits, like more effective vessel scheduling and routing. Together with reduced crew costs, this will result in lower operating costs. This is particularly relevant to maritime sectors experiencing challenges in finding skilled personnel. In addition, autonomous shipping will bring about safer and more sustainable operations. For example, human operator error is removed, and fuel consumption can be decreased.
Most notably, these benefits are applicable throughout the entire maritime industry; autonomous technology is already making its mark in offshore, naval, subsea, shortsea shipping, inland shipping, ferries, dredging, and harbour operations. As maritime capital of Europe, Rotterdam is home to all these branches of the maritime industry.
Providing a nurturing environment for autonomous shipping
The technology behind autonomous shipping is developing at a rapid-fire pace. In response to this, Rotterdam has created an environment that enables and supports collaboration between established parties as well as nurturing innovative start-up companies. This includes SMASH!, the Netherlands Forum for Smart Shipping, which supports cooperation between maritime companies, government, and knowledge institutions located in Rotterdam.