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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

New Autonomous Ferry to Launch in Stockholm

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 15, 2023

(Image: Brødrene Aa)

(Image: Brødrene Aa)

A new electrically powered, autonomously operated ferry service is slated to launch in the Stockholm city center this spring.

Norwegian shipping company Torghatten plans to have services in place this spring in Riddarfjärden, between two inner-city quays. The ferry that will operate on the crossing is an autonomously operated electric vessel that runs on batteries. It has been designed and built by the Bröderna Aa shipyard in Hyen, Norway and the autonomous operation system is provided by technology supplier Zeabuz in Trondheim, Norway.

Torghatten and Zeabuz intend that the ferry will run 15 hours per day. The batteries will then be recharged overnight. The ferry can carry 24 passengers.

“Many of the major cities around the world have problems with traffic congestion, capacity and environmental and air pollutants. Our innovative technology solution, the first of its kind in the world, creates real sustainable urban mobility,” said Reidun Svarva, Business Development Manager at shipping company Torghatten AS.

Prior to the service coming into operation in Stockholm, the software has been tested in service operations with passengers in Trondheim. Technology supplier Zeabuz has also developed its own simulator to perform thousands of virtual crossings of Riddarfjärden before the ferry is launched. Initially there will be an operator aboard to make sure everything works as it should. After that, the ferry will be operated entirely from a land-based control room.

“A ferry running without a manual operator might sound a bit risky, but it is just as safe to use an autonomous ferry as a conventional ferry,” Svarva said. “The residents of Stockholm can feel safe in the knowledge that our 150 years of experience from the shipping business in Norway means we are doing this in a safe way.”

Clara Lindblom, Chair of the Board at Ports of Stockholm, said, “It is pleasing to see a new boat service being introduced that makes commuter life in Stockholm easier. In a city predominantly built on islands, water-borne traffic has the potential to contribute even more to sustainable transports. The autonomously operated ferry crossing of Riddarfjärden is an innovative addition that will hopefully be a great asset to the city’s residents.”

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