Norway will test an unmanned electric cargo ship

Norway will test an unmanned electric cargo ship

By the end of the year the maiden voyage postponed due to the pandemic will serve to field test the operation of the autonomous freighter

(Photo: Yara) The Norwegian unmanned electric cargo ship Yara Birkeland is ready to make the its maiden voyage by the end of 2021, one year later than the original schedule due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The boat will debut on a route from Herøya to Brevik, in southern Norway, with the sole support of three remote control centers. The goal is to be able to save the equivalent of 40,000 truck trips per year.

The company Yara, one of the global leaders in the field of fertilizers, has chosen the name Birkeland in honor of the physicist and inventor Kristian Birkeland from Norway and made use of the collaboration of the international group Kongsberg to create the boat presented in 2017 and finally ready for the first trip, with totally autonomous driving.

The electric container ship Yara Birkeland will be powered by a 900 kW propulsion system and powered by a gigantic 7 MWh battery to support a (slow) maximum cruising speed of 13 knots, approximately 24 kilometers per hour, about half of that achieved by equivalent cargo ships with traditional engines. But on the other hand, the purpose of this freighter is precisely to respect the environment and drastically reduce the level of CO 2 emissions.

If the test gives the desired results, the ship can also generate beneficial effects on the quality of road traffic in the area avoiding congestion in a country, Norway, which is already strongly focusing on electric mobility, being the first to receive shipments of modern and innovative cars from foreign companies such as China.

Herøya and Brevik are located on the Eidangerhalvøya peninsula, in the southern part of Norway, which in the past was very active in the export of ice and wood and are approximately 9 kilometers apart from each other as the crow flies. A short section that is well suited to this first electric and autonomous driving project, which could open interesting horizons in local maritime transport.

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Environment Autonomous driving pollution electric mobility globalData.fldTopic = "Environment, Autonomous driving, pollution, electric mobility "

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