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Live From Nor-Shipping 2017
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Autonomous vessels a 'huge opportunity' for shortsea shipping

Kongsberg believes autonomous vessels will be a “real opportunity” for shortsea shipping as it develops the first autonomous electric vessel with Yara.

Quizzed at the Nor-Shipping opening conference if autonomous vessels were just a niched Geir Håøy, ceo of Kongsberg Group said: “I definitely think is not a niche thing this is changes that we will see coming. I think this is related not only to the technology its related to the business model change and I think its related to regulation.”

In the case of the Yara Birkeland which will be the world's first fully electric and autonomous container shipping due for delivery in second half 2018, Håøy, said he believed they were driven by both competitive and environmental reasons.

“This is a huge opportunity for shortsea shipping, I am not so sure about the long haul it will take a while before we see fully autonomous ships going across the oceans,” he said.

Nikolas Tsakos, president and ceo Tsakos Energy Navigation, believes that highly trained personnel will still need to be operate complex modern vessels, however the numbers needed would be reduced.

“I do not believe we will ever see a fully automated or unmanned VLCC going around the world as we do not see a 737 or an A380 doing the same thing,” Tsakos stated.

“But when I first vessel was liberty we had 50 Greek crew on, today we have 22 on a VLCC in our generation we will see vessels going down to 10 or 12 people and I believe there will be much more technology.”

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