Rolls-Royce presents a vision of a future land-based control centre in which a small crew of 7 to 14 people monitor and control a fleet of remote controlled and autonomous vessels across the world. The crew uses interactive smart screens, voice recognition systems, holograms and surveillance drones to monitor what is happening both on board and around the ship.
After three years of concentrated research work in developing and investigating a viable concept for an unmanned and autonomous merchant vessel, the MUNIN project has come to an end. The consortium partners covered all aspects relevant to the issue, such as autonomous navigation, engine and propulsion automation, communications and shore connectivity, system redundancy and efficiency as well as questions related to regulations and liability. The main focus was to create and validate a concept which is technically safe and sound on the one hand but also is economically competitive and ecologically compatible on the other.
A concept has been drafted, system prototypes have been developed, a simulation test-bed has been established and a feasibility study was produced. And most importantly, further research needs have been identified.
MUNIN’s final brochure consolidates the project’s findings from all research areas and provides direct contact details for further in-depth inquires. The document can be downloaded in the dissemination section of the MUNIN webpage.
The report D9.3: Quantitative Assessment contains the results of the in-depth qualitative and quantitative analysis of the concept of an autonomous vessel as developed in the MUNIN project. It covers three dimensions: safety and security impacts, economic impacts and applicable areas of law.
The results from the analysis show that for the foundering and collision scenarios the MUNIN ship has a lower risk than a conventional vessel. This report also includes a short assessment of propulsion and steering reliability which together with foundering and collision arguably are the most critical events that can be expected.
Regarding the costs, the MUNIN bulker is found to improve the expected present value by mUSD 7 over a 25-year period compared to a reference manned bulker in the base scenario. However, it must be noted that the analyses is still associated with a high level of uncertainty due to the early stage of the concept development.