From Norway, unmanned ferries for fjord routes


Try to imagine an unmanned ferry sailing silently through the fjords. It sounds like the opening of a legend about ghost ships, but in fact it is simply the future plans ofNorwegian operator Fiord1, which has decided to invest everything in technological innovation and zero impact.

The news, reported throughout the specialized press, is making the rounds. Ford1’s revolution looks set to change the world of navigation.

Unmanned electric ferries

Fiord1 has commissioned Turkish shipyards Tersan, to build four ferries, described as autonomous, that is, remotely steered. Delivery of the 4 vessels will take place by 2026 and will likely be only the first of several orders. The ferries also will be electric, with zero environmental impact.

The 4 automatic ferries will initially be used to transport vehicles on the Lavik – Oppedal route that crosses the Sogn Fjord, north of Bergen. This already busy route, thanks to the new autonomous ferries, is expected to become one of the most important in Norway.

Autonomous navigation in 2028

The trial of this new type of ferry will last for two years. By 2027, autocrossing and autodocking functions will be implemented, allowing automatic loading and docking of vessels. Finally, in 2028, the first 100% autonomous trips aboard unmanned ferries should begin.

The high technology of the new autonomous ferries and the almost unlimited autonomy of the new engines should allow for total remote control, which will replace the vast majority of crew functions.

Ferries of the future

We do not know if it will really ever be possible to do without crew aboard ferries. Certainly, technological innovations in this field, too, will change the tasks of human personnel aboard ships. Euipage-free ferries will be a reality, and many functions will be performed by artificial intelligence.

In conclusion, we are convinced that the most important and urgent innovation, in the field of navigation, is in the field of energy. reduction of pollutant emissions, up to the threshold of zero emissions is a goal that seems within the reach of major shipping companies. Preservation of the marine environment, coexistence with cetaceans and conservation of ecosystems are primary goals of those who make their living from tourism.