Norwegian group plans full-electric, autonomous ferry concepts

“Technology acceleration organisation” PILOT-E has signed a contract with a Kongsberg-headed consortium for the development of zero emission, full-electric, autonomous ferry concepts.

The overall vision for the concept is to develop a state-of-the-art ferry as an integrated, zero emission aspect of a total national transportation plan.

The PILOT-E program, a collaboration between the Norwegian Research Council, Innovasjon Norge and Enova, is designed to accelerate time to market for cutting-edge technology concepts, while at the same time ensuring that the solutions produced are viable and sustainable. Its goal is to ensure that the benefits of advanced projects result in actual deliveries to the market.

For Kongsberg, the contract provides partial funding for developing new autonomous functionality such as auto docking and auto sailing. Kongsberg has already established a number of industry partnerships on projects it hopes will result in new connected, autonomous and environmentally friendly ships within the next two years, including the YARA Birkeland container feeder and the Hrönn offshore service vessel.

To fulfil the PILOT-E mission, Kongsberg is heading a consortium with Grenland Energy on marine battery technology, Fjellstrand shipyard on vessel design, Grønn Kontakt on the charging of electric cars both quay-side and on board, and NTNU as a research partner within autonomy and energy management.

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