A $20 Million Crewless, Automated Ship Will Launch In 2018



The Norwegian-built Yara Birkeland is the world’s first crewless ship and is set to launch sooner rather than later.

The $20 million vessel, which is equipped with GPS, radar, cameras, and sensors, is on pace to roll out in 2018 and be fully automated by 2020.

“Yara Birkeland will initially operate as a manned vessel, moving to remote operation in 2019 and expected to be capable of performing fully autonomous operations from 2020,” the company said in a post on its website from May.

Obviously, by not having the need for a crew or fuel, the operating costs of the ship will be greatly reduced.

At the moment, the ship which is being called the “Tesla of the Seas,” is scheduling to begin delivering fertilizer from a production facility to the port of Larvik in 2018.

The 37 mile trek is merely the beginning for the 100-container Birkeland, which hopes to eventually go zero emission.

Marshall Smith

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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