Thursday, April 5, 2018

"World’s First Autonomous Shipping Company Established in Norway"

We've been watching this one for a while as it ticks a few of the boxes:
1. Autonomous
2. Electric
3. Shipping
4. Fertilizer
5. Kristian Birkeland
Our hero
"He also co-founded Norsk Hydro and got his picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone Norway's 200 kr banknote:

The note became invalid at the end of last year and the old boy was replaced by a cod and a herring...."
From gCaptain:
 A test model of the final design Yara Birkeland, which is vying to become the world’s first autonomous and 
zero emission containership. Photo: Ole Martin Wold
The world’s first shipping company focussing entirely on autonomous ships is being established in Norway as the shipping industry continues its push towards autonomous technology.
Shipping group Wilhelmsen and technology firm KONGSBERG, both from Norway, have joined forces to establish the new company, named Massterly, which will launch later this year offering the complete value chain for autonomous ships, from design and development, to control systems, logistics services and vessel operations.

“As a world-leading maritime nation, Norway has taken a position at the forefront in developing autonomous ships. Through the creation of the new company named Massterly, we take the next step on this journey by establishing infrastructure and services to design and operate vessels, as well as advanced logistics solutions associated with maritime autonomous operations. Massterly will reduce costs at all levels and be applicable to all companies that have a transport need,” says Thomas Wilhelmsen, Wilhelmsen group CEO.

Massterly will have land-based control centers established to monitor and operate autonomous ships in Norway and internationally.

“With a combined 360 years of experience, Massterly will benefit from KONGSBERG`s unique technological expertise and solutions, and Wilhelmsen’s world-leading experience in logistics and ship management operations. Norway’s position as a leading maritime nation also creates opportunities in the development of next-generation maritime personnel,” the companies said in a joint statement announcing the new company....MORE
February 2018 
That Time A Dozen Norwegians Stopped the Nazis From Developing the Atom Bomb and Possibly Saved Europe
Oct. 2017 
Norwegian Government to Chip In $17 Million to Develop the First Electric Autonomous Cargo Ship
September 2017
Shipping: "Value of Autonomy Questioned" 
July 2017 
"Norway Takes Lead in Race to Build Autonomous Cargo Ships"
...Shipping executives say autonomous vessels will be popular for short sea routes, but doubt they will replace oceangoing ships that move thousands of containers across continents with an average crew size of around 25.

“It’s not a matter of technology, which is already there, but a business case,” said Lars Jensen, chief executive of SeaIntelligence Consulting in Copenhagen. “Autonomous ships are expensive to begin with, and have to be built very robust, because if they break down, the cost of getting a team to fix them it in the middle of the ocean will be very high.”...  
May 2017 
Shipping: He May Not Have Received His Nobel Prizes But The World's First Fully Electric Autonomous Container Ship Will Be Called the Birkeland
March 2017
"New Research on Northern Lights Will Improve Satellite Navigation Accuracy"

Ha! Birkeland smiles.
He should have been awarded a couple Nobel prizes.*
*Here's  the Nomination Database:
Jan. `2017
"Forget Autonomous Cars—Autonomous Ships Are Almost Here"
July 2016
Autonomy: "Rolls-Royce’s cargo ship of the future requires no onboard crew"