With this historic trial in the Finnish capital’s port last week, ABB and Helsinki City Transport took the next step in autonomous shipping. In the remote trial, the world’s first for an existing passenger ferry, ABB successfully tested the enhancement of ship operations with technologies that are already available for nearly any kind of vessel.
“We are excited about the potential impact of this test on the future of the maritime industry,” said Peter Terwiesch, the President of ABB’s Industrial Automation division. “Advanced automation solutions from ABB are making the previously impossible possible for a wide range of sectors, including shipping, which is actively searching for technologies that can rapidly deliver more efficiency and better safety.”
“Autonomous does not mean unmanned. As vessels become more electric, digital and connected than ever before, ABB is able to equip seafarers with existing solutions that augment their skillsets. In this way, we are enhancing the overall safety of marine operations,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director at ABB’s Marine & Ports unit.
Suomenlinna II was retrofitted with ABB’s new dynamic positioning system, ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Control, and steered from a control center in Helsinki.
Speaking after the voyage, Captain Lasse Heinonen said: “The progress we have made with the remote trial has been remarkable. I believe we are on the right track to exploring further possibilities of this technology as we move forward.”