A new EU-backed project has been launched to support R&D into shortsea and inland autonomous shipping, featuring a consortium of maritime universities, ports, technology companies, and other stakeholder organisations.
SEAMLESS (Safe, Efficient and Autonomous: Multimodal Library of European Shortsea and inland Solutions), got underway on January 1st, 2023, and will spend 48 months working on developing and adapting the technologies required to deliver a fully automated, economically viable, cost-effective, and resilient waterborne freight feeder service for Short Sea Shipping (SSS) and Inland Waterway Transport (IWT).
One of the key goals of SEAMLESS is to shift road freight to waterways by developing and integrating autonomous systems, designed to ensure efficient operation while minimising environmental impacts.
The project will focus on areas like the development and integration of new technologies for autonomous navigation, cargo handling and energy management, as well as looking at new business models and regulatory frameworks to support the implementation of autonomous services.
The group’s activities will be coordinated by National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), with the consortium also including: Delft University of Technology; Bergen Havn; Terminal Industry Committee 4.0; ZULU Associates; SINTEF Ocean; CiaoTech – Gruppo PNO; INNOVATION PLACE; Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU); ISL – Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics; IRT SystemX; Fundación Valenciaport; duisport – Duisburger Hafen; DST – Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems; Voies navigables de France; Engitec Systems International; ASKO; Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe (ETP LOGISTICS); Inland Shipping – Europe; Port of Antwerp-Bruges; University of Belgrade; Kongsberg Maritime; Bureau Veritas; Awake.AI; Piraeus Container Terminal Single Member S.A; MacGregor; CINEA – European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency.