Skip to main content

Rolls-Royce launches project to design unmanned ships

by Futures Centre, Jul 22
1 minute read

The Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team has announced a new collaborative research project looking to produce the designs and operating systems needed to make the concept of unmanned or remote controlled ships a reality.


The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative will bring together academics, ship designers, equipment manufacturers, and classification bodies to explore the economic, social, legal, regulatory and technological factors to be considered before autonomous ships are able to set sail.

The project is expected to be completed in 2017, however some preliminary designs of the unmanned ships have already been published.

The team, led by Rolls Royce, will combine new technologies with alternative approaches to ship design and system integration. Its aim is to develop automated on-board decision systems, to be controlled by a remote operator from land-based control stations.

The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative will build upon the European Commission funded Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks (MUNIN) initiative. Both Rolls-Royce and MUNIN claim such unmanned shipping solutions expect to be will be more efficient, sustainable and safer than current shipping vessels.

Image Credit: Rolls-Royce / flickr


  • Other Tags:
by Futures Centre Spotted 1933 signals

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.