"Now the technology is at the level where we can make this happen, and society is moving in this direction," Oskar Levander, a marine engineering and technology executive at Rolls-Royce, tells Bloomberg. "If we want marine to do this, now is the time to move."
The Rolls-Royces' drones are a big project and the unmanned vessels are far away from setting a sail. Rolls-Royce will face many hurdles from regulatory and financial point of view, as well as problems of meeting the minimum crew requirements and an ineligibility for large providers to insure them. Moreover, the unmanned cargo ships will be able to transport the newly manufactured cars all over the world with less risk of human errors.
Rolls-Royce will be required to create new backup and safety equipment so they can handle with any potential machine problems onboard the new unmanned cargo ships. Oskar Levander also said, they are aiming to build unmanned ships that would be as safe as todays vessels.
"But we actually think it can be even much safer than today," added Levander.
He did not comment what would be the required time for system development or what is the company doing to handle the regulatory hurdles, but we have already seen that lawmakers have been open to letting non-human-controlled systems begin testing (self-driving cars) - as long as the proper safety systems are in place.
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