Stockholm Launches First Unmanned Electric Ferry
On June 8, Stockholm became the world’s first city to launch a voyage of an unmanned electric ferry created by Torghatten. As of June 12, the vessel named MF Estelle will start regularly navigating short routes between Stockholm’s islands.
For now, there’s a captain onboard during the journey to monitor the automatic system that manages the ferry’s manoeuvres. Eventually, Torghatten aims to make the vessel fully autonomous, eliminating the need for human presence. According to a company representative, the system already “sees like a captain.”
The ferry is equipped with a radar, cameras, laser lidar, and ultrasonic sonars that collect data for course management, said Erik Nilsson, the operational manager of the Norwegian company. He added that the system requires less than a second to reroute and change course when sailing conditions change or obstacles are detected.
The ten-meter-long ferry costs around $1.6 million and can carry up to 30 passengers. A one-way ticket will be priced around 3 euros. The hope is that the regular use of such autonomous ferries will encourage more Stockholm residents to walk or cycle rather than drive. Torghatten plans to expand ferry production for use both in Sweden and abroad. The ferry initiative was a result of private and public cooperation and was partially financed by the EU.
- I'm Martin Harris, a tech writer with extensive experience, contributing to global publications. Trained in Computer Science, I merged my technical know-how with writing, becoming a technology journalist. I've covered diverse topics like AI and consumer electronics, contributing to top tech platforms. I participate in tech events for knowledge updating. Besides writing, I enjoy reading, photography, and aim to clarify technology's complexities to readers.
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