Rolls-Royce Opens Their Autonomous R&D Ship Facility: Manufactures Excited About Its Potential

Manufacturers are beginning to embrace new technologies to give their businesses a competitive edge. From digital systems on the shop floor to innovative ways of transporting their products and components, business leaders are actively searching for the next big thing. Now, Rolls-Royce may offer them a more efficient and advanced way to ship goods to customers all over the world.

For years Rolls-Royce has been developing a way to bring autonomous shipping to the world. It began by locating potential partners, generating funding for the ambitious initiative and now they opened the autonomous ship research and development center in Finland. January 25th, 2018 marked the official opening of the R&D center and business leaders from all over the world are excited to see what amazing technology will come out of the facility.

Rolls-Royce just opened the state-of-the-art research facility in Turku, Finland which was designed specifically to develop the technologies Rolls-Royce and their partners will need to revolutionize the increasingly automated global shipping industry. The research being conducted will focus primarily on autonomous navigation, land-based control centers, and artificial intelligence for future remote and autonomous shipping operations. Furthermore, it will work on creating standards for autonomous shipping, a roadblock many autonomous technologies face as the technology outpaces government regulation.

Rolls-Royce President Marine Mikael Makinen spoke at the centers grand opening and stated, “I’m proud to say that the R&D center is now up and running and that all stakeholders, partners and customers will be able to see here what a remote-controlled and autonomous maritime future could look like, and work with us to shape the future. The experience space that is part of the center here to Turku, and a similar one we have in our Technology Center in Norway, is aimed at demonstrating to our customers the very tangible benefits of what is often considered an intangible technology.”

There are countless benefits to having a Research & Development center specifically focused on advancing their autonomous shipping technology. However, the center will offer Rolls-Royce the ability to showcase their existing capabilities along with future technologies. This could help get more potential partners excited about the progress as they will have the ability to see this innovative technology in action rather than it being explained to them by a third party.

Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce Senior Vice President, Ship Intelligence, “The center allows us to more accurately communicate our capabilities, what we have available today and what will be available tomorrow,” He continued to explain, “It will completely focus on the development of solutions capable of smoothing the maritime industry’s transition to the digital age. An autonomous maritime ecosystem will open up unprecedented opportunities.”

The world is advancing at an incredible pace. Manufacturers are actively seeking new, innovative ways to capitalize on this impressive transformation. Rolls-Royce wants to offer the world a modern way to ship their goods and it could have a direct impact on manufacturers transportation costs. It may be too early to know for sure how these technologies will impact the supply chain but the manufacturing industry is keeping a close eye on autonomous shipping. Check back with MFG Talk Radio soon to follow Rolls-Royce’s development of this amazing technology.


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