Norwegian shipping company Bastø Fosen and technology specialist Kongsberg Maritime have claimed the world’s first fully automated ferry transit conducted during a normal commercial service.
The ferry – Bastø Fosen VI – was fully loaded with passengers and vehicles as it operated under automatic control from dock to dock.
It will continue to use the automated system, developed by Kongsberg Maritime, for a six-month trial period, on its daily crossings between Horten and Moss service, to the south of Oslo – although the captain will remain in charge and the bridge will be fully crewed.
“Leaving the quay, crossing and docking again, all at the press of a button, is a world first,” says Gunnar Pedersen, EVP Integrated Solutions, Kongsberg Maritime.
“This is a big day for everyone involved – this is the future.”
At present, the installed equipment is not fully autonomous – if vessels or objects are detected on a collision course an alarm will sound and the captain and crew will take back control.
An anti-collision system, comprising radar and electro-optical sensors, is scheduled to be fitted to Bastø Fosen VI later this summer, and tested throughout the autumn