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Norway picks autonomous shipping lane

Newly formed autonomous shipping company confirms Norway’s position at the helm of the modern maritime industry

Global maritime group Wilhelmsen and tech giant KONGSBERG have established a new autonomous shipping company.

Called Massterly, it will operate new ‘control centres’ to manage autonomous shipping in Norway and beyond.

“As a world-leading maritime nation, Norway has taken a position at the forefront in developing autonomous ships. Through the creation of the new company named Massterly, we take the next step on this journey by establishing infrastructure and services to design and operate vessels, as well as advanced logistics solutions associated with maritime autonomous operations. Massterly will reduce costs at all levels and be applicable to all companies that have a transport need”, says Thomas Wilhelmsen, Wilhelmsen group CEO.

It is the latest move by stakeholders in Norway to lead the development of the burgeoning autonomous shipping industry. Last year KONGSBERG announced its involvement in the ‘YARA Birkeland’ – the ‘world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions’ – which will be ‘completely autonomous by 2020’.

“Autonomy and remote operations are an important development for the maritime industry and Norway’s lead has been made possible as a result of close cooperation between the Norwegian maritime cluster and the Norwegian authorities. In recent years there has been rapid development driven by a significant increase in demand from customers worldwide, from the traditional maritime industry and others. When autonomous ships soon are a reality, Massterly will be crucial for digitalising the infrastructure and operations,” said Geir Håøy, President and CEO of KONGSBERG.

Massterly, which will be headquartered in Lysaker, Norway, will be up an running by August this year.

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