In a first, automobile company Rolls Royce is partnering with Intel in order to build world’s first entirely self-driving ships.
Rolls Royce recently announced about the new partnership with Intel to manufacture a full fleet of autonomous cargo vessels that will require no humans onboard and will be completely autonomous.
The autonomous system, as explained by Interesting Engineering, is equipped with a huge network full of thermal and HD cameras, radar and LIDAR, satellite data and weather forecasts, all of them controlled by a centralized program. The vision algorithms are what that will help the self-sailing ship to detect obstacles in night time and within busy ports.
The luxury car manufacturer, aiming to get the fleet ready by 2025, also introduced the Intelligent Awareness System in one of the crewed vessels this year. In this new partnership, the companies plan to use 3D NAND solid-state drives, acting as ‘black-box’ and storing data up to 1TB per day or 30TB to 40TB for month that would come from the network. The ships’ AI will use Intel Xeon chips for processing the information.
Thanks to the Intelligent Awareness System, the ships can automatically classify any hurdles around it including tankers, cruise, ship, pleasure craft or tugs. The system also helps improve the visibility in case of unfavorable weather conditions since it combines data from several sources. This proves helpful in cases where the ship navigates in places such as docks with close quarters.
Director of Rolls Royce’s ship intelligence, Kevin Daffey expressed, “We’re delighted to sign this agreement with Intel, and look forward to working together on developing exciting new technologies and products, which will play a big part in enabling the safe operation of autonomous ships.”
Both Rolls Royce and Intel are focusing on safety and the plan to build these autonomous ships with similar technology found in smart cities, autonomous drones and cars.
“This collaboration can help us to support ship owners in the automation of their navigation and operations, reducing the opportunity for human error and allowing crews to focus on more valuable tasks,” Daffey added.
Intel informed that Rolls Royce is already testing its AI system in Japan where the vessels can even understand surroundings at night when it’s not possible for humans to visually detect objects in water.
“Rolls-Royce is a key driver of innovation in the shipping industry, and together we are creating the foundation for safe shipping operations around the world,” said Lisa Spelman, vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon Processors and Data Center Marketing at Intel.