Kongsberg has signed a research and innovation (R&I) contract with technology acceleration organisation PILOT-E for the development of zero-emission, full-electric autonomous ferry concepts. The PILOT-E programme, a collaboration between the Norwegian Research Council, Innovasjon Norge and Enova, is designed to accelerate time to market for new technology concepts, while at the same time ensuring that the solutions produced are viable and sustainable. Its goal is to ensure that the benefits of advanced projects result in actual deliveries to the market. For Kongsberg, the R&I contract provides partial funding for developing new autonomous functionality such as auto docking and auto sailing. To fulfil the PILOT-E mission, Kongsberg is heading a consortium with Grenland Energy on marine battery technology, Fjellstrand shipyard on vessel design, Grønn Kontakt on the charging of electric cars both quay-side and on board, and NTNU as a research partner within autonomy and energy management. The stakes are high and the autonomy vision is materialising as we speak, said An-Magritt Tinlund Ryste, project manager, Kongsberg Maritime. The PILOT-E autonomous ferry project introduces a new mind-set encouraging us to look beyond the traditional organisational setup. To meet the ambitious time-to-market expectations, we must really adopt the true meaning of collaboration and step up the work across technological areas within Kongsberg and between partners, to harvest the best from each area of expertise. Kongsberg has already established a number of key industry partnerships on projects that will result in new connected, autonomous and environmentally friendly ships within the next two years, including the Yara Birkeland container feeder and the Hrönn offshore service vessel.
Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.