Autonomous Ships

You may have heard of driverless cars and even trucks, but what about autonomous container ships? One company is edging closer to a future that will revolutionise the shipping industry.

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Yara Birkeland

The Yara Birkeland is no ordinary container ship. It is the world's first fully electric and autonomous container feeder which will operate within 12 nautical miles from the coast between 3 ports in southern Norway.

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Key Statistics

Due to launch in late 2018, the Yara Birkeland is expected to be fully autonomous by 2020 following extensive testing.

  • Capacity: 120 TEU
  • Deadweight: 3,200 mt
  • LOA: 80 m
  • Beam: 15 m
  • Depth: 12 m
  • Draught (full): 5 m
  • Draught (ballast): 3 m
  • Service speed: 6 knots
  • Max speed: 10 knots
  • Propulsion: Electric
  • Battery Pack: 7,5 - 9 MWh

Other similar unmanned vessels are predicted over the coming decade, which will revolutionise the industry, reducing costs and greenhouse emissions.