Rolls-Royce Autonomous Cargo Vessels

Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 02


Rolls-Royce Drone Ships Challenge $375 Billion Industry: Freight ( February 24, 2014)

(Editor’s Note: This article led to my first LinkedIn post)

What the Article Chronicles:

Drone ships would be safer, cheaper and less polluting for the $375 billion shipping industry that carries 90 percent of world trade, according to Rolls-Royce. Their Blue Ocean development team has set up a virtual reality prototype at its office in Alesund, Norway, that simulates 360-degree views from a vessel’s bridge. Eventually, these control centers would allow captains on dry land to command hundreds of crewless ships.

Official UAV / Drone Name:

None yet. Only conceptual. However, a 1:20 prototype of an unmanned, zero emissions, short-sea vessel called the Revolt (LINK) does exist. The virtual reality, smart crew station is called the Future Operator Experience Concept or “oX” and it would be dependent on cameras beaming 360-degree views from the drone ship back to the operators based in the virtual bridge in Norway, thus allowing them to navigate the vessel and remotely to steer them to their final destinations.


Rolls-Royce schematics show vessels loaded with containers from front to back, without the bridge structure where the ship’s crew would normally live (see pictures above and below). By replacing the bridge (along with other crew support systems , such as electricity, air conditioning, water and sewage), the unmanned cargo ships would be able to fit more cargo, thus cutting costs and boosting revenues. Theoretically, these ships would also be 5 percent lighter before loading cargo and would burn 12 percent to 15 percent less fuel.

Basic UCV / Drone Description: 

No info available.


No info available.


No info available.


No info available.

Companies Involved:

  • Rolls-Royce


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