Rolls-Royce has already displayed a virtual reality prototype, which is equipped with a camera in place of a bridge and is capable of simulating 360 deg. views from a ship’s bridge.
The prototype has been displayed at the company’s facility in Ålesund, Norway, and the designs are being worked on by the Blue Ocean development team of the company’s Marine Power Operations (Voyaging Into the Future pdf - link here).
According to Rolls-Royce, control centres can be developed that will allow captains or a team of operators to command and operate unmanned ships from a land base.
The company says the unmanned ships would weigh 5 per cent less and use 12 per cent to 15 per cent less fuel than traditional cargo ships.