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Sailing towards an autonomous future

A zero emission autonomous boat being developed in Norway will ‘reduce diesel-powered truck haulage by 40,000 journeys a year’.

We reported the partnership agreement agreed last year between agricultural producer, YARA and tech giant, KONGSBERG, to deliver the YARA Birkeland, the ‘world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, with zero emissions’. And this week Kalmar joined the party by agreeing to ‘deliver the fully autonomous equipment, software and services’. 


“With this agreement, Yara Birkeland is not just the world’s first electric and autonomous container vessel; it is the world’s first fully digitalised and electric supply chain, with all operations, including loading, unloading and sailing conducted in a fully autonomous manner with zero emissions. Kalmar has the proven equipment and software, and the know-how to integrate their solutions into our supply chain,” said Tove Andersen, EVP Production, Yara.


The ‘YARA Birkeland’ will ship cargo from its production plant in Porsgrunn to Brevik and Larvik in Norway – and will be fully autonomous by 2020.

Norway continues to lead the autonomous shipping revolution. Last month we reported the establishment of a new autonomous shipping company in the country, which will operate new ‘control centres’ to manage autonomous shipping in Norway and beyond.

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