Rolls-Royce, who is investing heavily in the business of self-driving ships, believes that their first commercial self-driving vessel will be operational before the end of the decade. A promotional video was released in March by Rolls-Royce showcasing the technology.
Backers of the concept, and even some skeptics, acknowledge that the potential savings are huge. Today’s manned vessels carry a crew of 20 or more people, all of whom need to be housed, fed and paid. An unmanned vessel needs no space for a crew or provisions, and because it never sleeps, it can travel day and night, saving time and fuel.
Levander expects the first self-driving ships will operate within a single country’s borders. That’s because before trans-oceanic vessels can operate, entire laws will need to be re-written.
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