Japanese shipping companies are working with shipbuilders to develop self-piloting cargo ships. Shipping firms Mitsui OSK Lines and Nippon Yusen are working with shipbuilders including Japan Marine United to share both costs and expertise, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Nippon Yusen has already been working on technology to enable ships to use data to assess collision risks. In 2016, Rolls-Royce announced plans to develop unmanned cargo ships, starting with remote-controlled vessels that could be operational as soon as 2020.
The plan to have so-called "smart ships" moving around the world is being driven by a consortium of Japanese shipping companies who are working with shipbuilders to develop self-piloting cargo ships. At the heart of the ships will be a form of artificial intelligence. The idea is to reduce costs and to improve efficiency. From then on a human captain will be based on-shore, monitoring the progress of the boats as they navigate the world's marine trade routes.
Japanese shipping companies want to build self-navigating cargo ships. Japanese groups aren't the only ones working to create autonomous cargo ships. Last year, Rolls-Royce announced plans to develop remote-controlled ships that it hopes to have ready in the very near future. The developers hope to launch the Japanese smart ships by 2025, which is gearing up to be the year for self-navigating vehicles since Honda just announced that's also its goal for perfecting autonomous cars.
Commercial drones and self-driving cars will soon be joined by fleets of autonomous cargo ships that navigate the world's oceans using artificial intelligence. Several shipbuilders and shipping firms in Japan have joined forces to develop remote-controlled cargo vessels that could be launched by 2025, according to the country's Nikkei business newspaper. The company said it envisaged a remote-controlled local vessel becoming operational by the end of the decade, and an autonomous, unmanned ocean-going vessel following in 2035. The European Union is also funding research into unmanned maritime navigation, while Norway plans to launch an autonomous and fully electric cargo ship next year that will carry fertilisers between three ports in the country's south.
These sailors will be seated in office buildings on land, hundreds of miles from their ship, which won't have any humans on board. Sailors, pilots and drivers are slowly shifting from the high seas, blue skies and open roads to staid office buildings where they monitor vessels from afar. Sea Machines CEO Michael Johnson said making harbor tugboats autonomous is the holy grail. Starsky Robotics, meanwhile, is on the forefront of making long-haul truck driving an office job.
BEIJING – China on Thursday launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country's space station, marking further progress in the ambitious Chinese space program. The Tianzhou 1 blasted off at 7:41 p.m. atop a latest-generation Long March 7 rocket from China's newest spacecraft launch site, Wenchang, in the southern island province of Hainan. It is programmed to conduct scientific experiments after reaching the now-crewless Tiangong 2, China's second space station. Since China conducted its first crewed space mission in 2003, it has staged a spacewalk and landed its Jade Rabbit rover on the moon.
Global shipping firm Maersk is planning to fit spinning'rotor sails' to one of its oil tankers as a way of reducing its fuel costs and carbon emissions The rotor sail was invented by German engineer Anton Flettner. Although it takes energy in the form of electricity to spin the sail, the thrust it produces means the engines can be significantly throttled back, so it reduces overall fuel use and emissions. Shipping is entering a brave new era with accelerating advances in big data, artificial intelligence, smart ships, robotics and automation. Shipping is entering a brave new era with accelerating advances in big data, artificial intelligence, smart ships, robotics and automation.
New vessel management software will coordinate arrival times, lock and tug availability, and the crew needed to run it all. "The Panama Canal is really really a trench through a mountain range, and most of the canal operates by having the vessels navigate through a lake 90 feet above sea level," says Cano. The demands of global trade required larger ships, and so the Panama Canal Authority started construction of two sets of larger locks in 2007. In the future the Integrated Operational Planning System (which will get a better name before it's fully operational), will chew on all that data, and spit out a daily operating plan.
The industrial equipment on their ships have thousands of sensors that collect data in real time. One of the areas they looked at was that of water consumption onboard their ship. Accurately predicting water consumption helps ship captains avoid the need to spend fuel by unnecessarily producing excessive amounts of water at sea. This also mitigates their need to carry all that excess water along the way, which further shaves costs.
Made by the the Italian firm's Boston Fast Forward R&D lab, Gita is a robot cargo carrier capable of hauling up to 40 pounds (18 kg) of goods while following a human operator or moving autonomously through a mapped environment. The blue ball-like machine stands about 26 inches (66 cm) tall, can carry 40lbs (18 kg) and travels up to 22 mph (35 km/h). Users simply unlock the top lid and place anything from groceries to laundry inside of the machine. Users simply unlock the top lid and place anything from groceries to laundry inside of the machine.