Trafikverket Sweden has contracted Holland Shipyards Group to supply its ferry company with four autonomous electric ferries.
The ferries will operate at autonomy level 2 and will be remotely monitored from a centre in Stockholm. This will allow the ferry crossing to take place at the push of a button, but the vessels will also have a crew on board to take control if needed.
Trafikverket Sweden hopes that the use of autonomous technology will increase passenger safety and remove the risks associated with human error.
The signed contract includes the delivery of the ferries, the auto-mooring facilities and the charging stations, as well as a simulator facility and the remote control centre.
“This is the largest investment that the ferry company has ever made and is a big step both for the climate and in technology development for safer shipping.”
The ferries measure 86 by 14.24 metres and have capacity for 60 cars. They will operate in Ljusteröleden and Vaxholmsleden and will primarily run on electricity. However, Holland Shipyards Group will also equip the vessels with backup engines that run on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), a paraffinic diesel fuel.
Between each crossing, the electric ferries will be charged at a shore charging facility while mooring. This process will be completed within just four minutes.
The first of these ferries is scheduled to be delivered in the second half of 2024. This investment is part of Trafikverket Sweden’s Vision 45, which aims for all of its ferries to be climate neutral by 2045.
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