Friday, December 19, 2014

Rolls-Royce virtual bridge blurs line between manned and robotic ships

Rolls-Royce has partnered with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University to expand ideas for a virtual bridge that could blur the lines between manned and robotic ships.

Combining automated ship systems with constant high-data level communications is part of what Rolls-Royce says is the "next major transition for the shipping industry."

This week, Rolls-Royce unveiled its latest version of its Ship Intelligence concept, which it says could become a reality in ten years. The concept is based on a new bridge called the Future Operator Experience Concept or "oX." This turns bridge positions into smart workstations and the bridge itself into an augmented reality control center.

The company says its automated solution comes at a time when ships are becoming more complex, requiring large amounts of data streaming. Regulations drive costs, environmental pressures are growing, and skilled crews willing to spend weeks at sea are harder to find.

According to Rolls-Royce, the above factors, along with the requirements of the latest developments in propulsion, navigation, and other on-board systems, will require complex interactive data and control systems that will likely lead to autonomous ships that don't require crews.

For more of the Gizmag story:

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