A fully integrated digital system enabling autonomous operation has allowed the passenger and vehicle ferry, Bastø Fosen VI, to complete an autonomous voyage, including docking, between Horten and Moss on the Oslo Fjord. The vessel, which also had a crew on board, used “adaptive transit functions” developed by Kongsberg Maritime, to complete the autonomous voyage safely and efficiently.
The recent event, which involved close collaboration between ferry owner Bastø Fosen, Kongsberg and the Norwegian Maritime Authority, took place to demonstrate how autonomous operations can support ships’ crews by allowing them to focus on vessel monitoring and passenger safety. During December trials, docking and sailing times were found to be accurate to within two seconds of scheduled times.
Speaking after the voyage was completed, Bastø Fosen CEO, Øyvind Lund, said: “Today, at the press of a button, one of our vessels left the quay in Horten, crossed the Oslo Fjord and docked in Moss, all completely automatically. This is an aid, not a replacement [for ships’ crews]. Greater accuracy permits better logistics: for example, we can now pre-programme the time allowed for the crossing and thus reduce energy consumption. Digitalisation and automation are the future and we are proud to be prime movers.”