Norway Leads Maritime Innovation with Autonomous and Green Ferries

Posted by PartYard Marine

In a groundbreaking move towards decarbonization and enhanced vessel safety, Norway is spearheading the development of cutting-edge maritime technologies. Fjord1, a prominent operator in the Norwegian transportation sector, has secured a contract from the Norwegian Public Road Administration for the construction of four fully battery-powered RoRo ferries.

The vessels, designed for both autonomy and efficiency, are set to be constructed by Turkey’s Tersan Shipyard, with a target service commencement date of September 2026. These ferries, equipped for full autonomy, will undergo phased certification over the subsequent two years.

Nils Kristian Berge, Technology and Project Director at Fjord1, emphasized the significance of winning this development contract, highlighting the roadmap to propel the green ferry industry forward through increased autonomy and automation.

The ferries, boasting autonomous navigation and a high level of automation, are poised to replace manual operations. Fjord1 plans to implement automation functions and autonomous systems such as autocrossing and autodocking in 2027, with full autonomous navigation slated for 2028.

With a capacity for 120 vehicles and loading ramps at both ends, these fully electric-powered ferries will serve the Lavik to Oppedal route across the Sognefjorden, situated approximately 60 miles north of Bergen on Norway’s western coast.

Fjord1 and Tersan, with a history of collaborative innovation, are already working on three electric ferries set to be delivered this year for operations in Norway’s Vestland region. Tersan Shipyard anticipates that these new battery and autonomous ferries will revolutionize coastal transportation.

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