Self-driving ships ahoy!
You may have heard about self-driving cars, but what about self-driving ships? This may sound like a science fiction idea for how to cross an ocean, but today it is one step closer to happening. That is because ESA has teamed up with engineering company Rolls-Royce to investigate how space technology can be used to develop autonomous and remote-controlled ships.
Not having people piloting ships could make them safer, as humans often make mistakes. It could help free up human crew for tasks that cannot be computer-controlled, too. Safety always comes first though, and advanced software has to be made to ensure that automatic ships can be trusted.
Thanks to this new partnership, future Rolls-Royce navigation and communication equipment could be tested at ESA sites in the Netherlands. This would make good use of the space agency’s high-tech facilities, and could help speed up development.
Would you like to take a voyage on a self-driving ship?
Cool fact: ESA technology can be used to help transport not just on the sea, but on land and in the air too!