A captain from the global towage operater Svitzer was able to steer a 28 metre-long tug through Copenhagen Harbour, dock and undock at a quay, and turn the ship 360 degrees – without moving from the company’s office.
All of this has been possible due to the combination of technology developed by Rolls-Royce and know-how from Svitzer.
“It was an honour to be present at what I believe was a world first and a genuinely historic moment for the maritime industry. We’ve been saying for a couple of years that a remotely-operated commercial vessel would be in operation by the end of the decade,” said Mikael Makinen, the president of the marine division of Rolls-Royce.
“Thanks to a unique combination of Svitzer’s operational knowledge and our technological expertise, we have made that vision a reality much sooner than we anticipated.”
Look! no hands!
A range of sensors on the ship combine data inputs using advanced software to give the captain an enhanced understanding of the ship and its surroundings.
The data is transmitted to a remote operating centre from where the captain controls the ship.
Throughout the demonstration the tug had a fully-qualified captain and crew on board poised to take over manually should a systems failure had taken place.
Five other tugs in Svitzer’s fleet are also scheduled to be equipped with the same technology.