This is what a land-based remote control centre could look like. Photograph: Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce is developing unmanned vessels and land-based remote control centres. The company cooperates with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd and TAUCHI research unit at the University of Tampere.
On Tuesday, Rolls-Royce presented a video of the vision of the future in which a small crew of 7 to 14 people monitor and control the operation of a fleet of 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.
“We researched what kind of interaction technology could be used in remote control,” says Professor Markku Turunen who led the research at the TAUCHI research centre.
The possibilities offered by voice recognition and gestural interfaces have been among the things investigated.
Rolls-Royce envisions that it will be possible to build a commercial remotely controlled project demonstrator by the end of the decade.
“Unmanned and remote-controlled transportation systems are becoming a common feature of human life,” says General Manager Iiro Lindberg from Rolls-Royce.
“Our research aims to understand the human factors involved in monitoring and operating ships remotely. It identifies ways crews ashore can use tools to get a realistic feel for what is happening at sea.”
The research also explored the lessons learned from other industries where remote operation is commonplace, such as aviation, energy, defence, forestry, and space exploration.