Norway Companies Developing Autonomous Cargo Boats

Firms Yara International ASA and Kongsberg Gruppen are developing the Yara Birkeland and want to begin test runs with the boat starting in 2018. According to Kongsberg Gruppen, the ship will have a storage capacity of 100 to 150 twenty-foot equivalent units and will feature batteries as a major power source. On the inside, the Birkeland features technology similar to current self-driving cars. The ship will use Lidar, cameras, radars and other physical sensors to power its autonomous functions. Initially, the ship will run between the port cities of Herøya, Brevik and Larvik in an estimated 37 nautical mile route. Yara International and Kongsberg Gruppen have an extended timeline for testing on the Yara Birkeland. Testing with a small human crew is slated to start in 2018 and the companies hope to have the ship be running fully autonomously in 2020. International business Times



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