Rolls Royce to Design Autonomous Cargo Vessels With Intel

Rolls Royce to Design Autonomous Cargo Vessels With Intel

Rolls Royce and Intel have recently announced a partnership to manufacture a full fleet of autonomous cargo vessels that will require no humans on board. 

As explained by Interesting Engineering, the autonomous vessels will be equipped with a huge network full of thermal and HD cameras, radar and LIDAR, satellite data and weather forecasts that will be controlled by a centralized program. 

In order to detect obstacles at night and busy ports the vision algorithms will be used. 

The luxury car manufacturer aims to get the fleet ready by 2025 and has also introduced the Intelligent Awareness System in one of the crewed vessels this year. 

Under the new partnership with Intel they plan to use 3D NAND solid-state drives that will act as a ‘black-box’ and store data up to 1TB per day or 30TB to 40TB for a month that would come from the network. The ships’ AI will use Intel Xeon chips for processing the information.

With the help of the Intelligent Awareness System, the ships can automatically detect hurdles around that include tankers, cruise ships, pleasure craft or tugs. The system has also reportedly improved the visibility in case of unfavorable weather conditions as it combines data from several sources. The system has proven useful in cases where the ship navigates in places such as docks with close quarters.

Speaking on the partnership, Director of Rolls Royce’s ship intelligence, Kevin Daffey said, “We’re delighted to sign this agreement with Intel, and look forward to working together on developing exciting new technologies and products, which will play a big part in enabling the safe operation of autonomous ships.”

“This collaboration can help us to support ship owners in the automation of their navigation and operations, reducing the opportunity for human error and allowing crews to focus on more valuable tasks,” he added.

The focus of Rolls Royce and Intel is on safety with plans to build these autonomous ships with similar technology found in smart cities, autonomous drones and cars.

According to Intel Rolls Royce is already testing its AI system in Japan where the vessels can even understand surroundings at night when it’s not possible for humans to visually detect objects in water.

Furthermore, Lisa Spelman, Vice President and General Manager of Intel Xeon Processors and Data Center Marketing at Intel speaking about the partnership said, “Rolls-Royce is a key driver of innovation in the shipping industry, and together we are creating the foundation for safe shipping operations around the world.”


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