An official autonomous shipping testbed has opened in Horten, on the coast of Norway, representing an important new resource for Kongsbergs ongoing development of technology for projects such as the YARA Birkeland all-electric, autonomous container ship. The new area is open to Norwegian and international organisations, and is designed to be a convenient, safe, non-congested space to trial new technology and vessels. The testbed is the third of its kind in the country and the fourth such approved area in the world. Its introduction follows the opening of the worlds first autonomous shipping testbed, on the Trondheim Fjord in Norway, in September 2016. The area is specially designated for autonomous trials by the Norwegian Maritime Administration and the Norwegian Coastal Administration. Maritime autonomy pioneer Kongsberg has worked closely with the town of Horten, DNV GL, FFI (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment) and the University College of South East Norway, to establish the new testbed, which is situated adjacent to Kongsberg Maritimes Horten facility. The move towards greater autonomy at sea has the potential to transform maritime operations and, although the technology has now been proven, we look towards the regulations, said Egil Haugsdal, President, Kongsberg Maritime. Establishment of these testbeds is an important step, as it shows close cooperation between the people making the technology and vessels, and the organisations developing the rules that will allow them to operate.
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.