Fully autonomous passenger ships will appear in the Amsterdam canals within 2-4 years. They will move around the clock, their maximum speed is 6 km/h.
Amsterdam authorities have come up with a new way to reduce the amount of traffic on the city’s roads. The canals of the Dutch capital were used long before mass passenger and freight transport, so now 100 km of the city can be navigated on fully autonomous electric ships. They will be used to transport passengers and collect garbage.
The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Urban Solutions and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as part of the Roboat project, presented new ways to navigate waterways without the participation of a person at the helm.
“This technology is very relevant in port cities, where there are a lot of ships, ships, piers and piers,” said Stefan van Dijk, director of innovation at the Amsterdam Institute. “With the new autonomous system, we can improve the safety of these transport systems, make them more efficient and move to 24/7 operation.”
The boats are equipped with an orange propeller and four motors that are powered by an electric battery. They can reach speeds of about 6 km / h and last 12-24 hours, depending on battery type and weight.
They are controlled remotely using a computer that processes data from cameras and sensors that scan the space around the vessel, detecting stationary and moving objects. The ships have a modular design, so they can be easily adapted for various purposes: to transport goods or passengers.
The developers say it will take them another two to four years to perfect the navigation technology. “This is mainly due to the fact that we want to be absolutely sure that we can navigate the canals safely,” said mechatronic engineer Rens Dornbusch. “We have autonomy now, but one of the next steps is to make sure that we can really handle any situation that we may face in the channels.”