Trafikverket Sweden (the Swedish Transport Administration) has agreed a deal with Holland Shipyards Group for the construction of four autonomous all-electric ferries, capable of sailing at autonomy level 2 under the control of a remote control centre based in Stockholm.
The contract is for two sets of two ferries, with delivery of two ferries with four automooring facilities and two charging stations, a simulator facility and a remote control centre agreed. The tender covers the entire procurement: four ferries, eight automooring facilities, and four charging stations.
As level 2 autonomous ferries, the 60-car capacity vessels will be remotely monitored but will have crew on board that can take control whenever necessary. Crossing the ferry route can be done with just the push of a button, and the vessels can be charged by a shore charging facility within approximately four minutes while mooring.
Holland Shipyards notes that reducing the dependency on crew on board requires that many onboard systems are remotely operable and are redundant, so that, when one way of operation fails, another route remains available.
This requires a large number of inputs and outputs into the ship’s Integrated Automations System (IAS), which will all be mirrored within the remote control centre to give on-shore monitoring personnel full access to the ship’s vital functions.
The first ferry is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2024, with the others to be subsequently delivered in stages.