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Rolls-Royce, VTT Technical Research Centre partner to develop smart ships


November 14, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Nov. 14, 2016 – Rolls-Royce and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have announced a strategic partnership to design, test and validate what they say will be the first generation of remote and autonomous ships. The parties say the new partnership will “combine and integrate the two company’s unique expertise to make such vessels a commercial reality.”

“Rolls-Royce is a pioneer in remotely controlled and autonomous shipping,” said Erja Turunen, executive vice president at VTT. “Our collaboration strengthens the way we can integrate and leverage VTT’s expertise in simulation and safety validation, including the industrial Internet of Things, to develop new products and in the future, enable us to develop new solutions for new areas of application as well.”

VTT has “deep knowledge” of ship simulation and “extensive expertise” in the development and management of safety-critical and complex systems in demanding environments, and combines physical tests such as model and tank testing, with digital technologies, such as data analytics and computer visualization.

“Remotely operated ships are a key development project for Rolls-Royce Marine, and VTT is a reliable and innovative partner for the development of a smart ship concept. This collaboration is a natural continuation of the earlier User Experience for Complex systems (UXUS) project, where we developed totally new bridge and remote control systems for shipping,” said Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce, vice-president ship intelligence.

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Rolls-Royce believes a remote controlled ship will be in commercial use by the end of the decade.