R olls-Royce opened a state-of-the-art research facility in Turku, Finland, on 25 January 2018. The goal of the R&D Centre is to develop the technologies Rolls- Royce and its partners require to shape the future of an increasingly more auton- omous global shipping industry. Iiro Lindborg, General Manager, Remote & Autonomous, reports that the new R&D Centre is running very well, and is, in fact, the only research centre in the world dedicated to remote and autono- “ Part of the R&D Centre is the ‘experience space’. mous ship operations. “Part of the R&D Centre is the ‘expe- rience space’, a showroom of cutting edge ship intelligence technologies, including a remote operations centre for controlling ships, and demonstrations of the new Rolls-Royce Intelligent Awareness system, which uses multiple sensors to give much improved visibility for ships’ crews,” Lind- borg explains. TARGETING 2020 The R&D centre has a mix of marine engi- neers, ship designers and software devel- opers. Talking about the expectations for the R&D Centre, Lindborg says that the Centre is really pushing the develop- ment of new technologies for remote and autonomous operations. “We are targeting the first commer- cial application of an autonomous vessel by the end of the decade. At first, those are likely to be coastal ships, such as tugs or ferries.” According to Lindborg, Rolls-Royce originally had a slower route in mind for autonomous ships. “When you consider ocean-going ships, we initially projected autonomy by 2035, but we now believe that will happen much sooner, sometime in the 2020s,” he says, adding that the rapid pace of development means that the company has been able to bring that date forward every year. Rolls-Royce launched its first autonomous ship development pro- ject UXUS (User Experience for Complex Systems) in 2012. The new R&D Centre enables Rolls- Royce and its partners to carry out projects focused on autonomous navigation, the 24 seatec 2/2018 Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce Senior Vice President, Ship Intelligence.