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Autonomous Shipping Initiative for European Waters

Project description

Launching next-gen autonomous ships in Europe

Although Asia has dominated the shipbuilding industry for several decades due to lower-cost manufacturing, Europe has maintained a leading market share in specialised, high-quality vessels. Supported by the industrial and technological expertise of leading European maritime companies, the EU-funded AUTOSHIP project aims to build and demonstrate two self-navigating ships as prototypes for a fleet of next-generation, fully-autonomous vessels. The scheme includes the necessary shore control network and technology package for autonomous navigation and secure communications. Two pilot tests will take place demonstrating goods transport along the Baltic Corridor. This project will strengthen the European maritime cluster by launching a multi-billion euro market, creating high-skilled jobs and safer eco-friendly marine transport.


While the shipbuilding market has been advantaging Asian lower-cost manufacturing in the last decades, AUTOSHIP will build around two EU industrial market and leading technology providers, such as Rolls Royce and Kongsberg, to create a stronger European cluster able to thrust a market worth Billions of Euros in the next decade, bringing new high-skilled jobs and a safer and greener transport in Europe.
AUTOSHIP will build and operate 2 R&A vessels and their needed shore control and operation infrastructure, reaching and going over TRL7. Testing will take place during two pilot demonstration campaigns addressing goods mobility from the Baltic Corridor to a major EU seaport and hinterland, which are most relevant areas with growing waterborne transport market demand in EU.
Doing so, it will speed-up the Next Generation of Autonomous Ships, by demonstrating in real environment Short Sea Shipping and Inland Water Ways autonomous vessels. The technology package will include full-autonomous navigation, self-diagnostic, prognostics and operation scheduling, as well as communication technology enabling a prominent level of cyber security and integrating the vessels into upgraded e-infrastructure. In parallel, digital tools and methodologies for design, simulation and cost analysis will be developed for the whole community of autonomous ships.
AUTOSHIP will help ship operators/owners to improve the economy of scale of their investments, to effectively gain competitiveness and renew their fleets, making them more competitive to replace road transport.
The project’s ambitions will leverage on advanced KETs, solid industrial, investment and business worldwide, participation in all major stakeholders’ organisations. The high ambition is to deliver the technology on the market in 5 years boosting ocean and intercontinental unmanned shipping. It is an ambition with a solid base in the involved value-chain and in the financial and commercial commitment discussed in this proposal.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 404 603,50
Via palestrina 25
00189 Roma

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Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 173 401,50

Participants (15)