Rolls-Royce shares prototype designs of drone cargo ships
Luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce has reportedly unveiled designs for its proposed drone cargo ships that would roam the European waters carrying crates of goods.
The firm's Blue Ocean development team has designed the unmanned ship prototypes after the EU gave 4.8 million dollars to a project called Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks (MUNIN).
According to Mashable, the drone ships would be cheaper to operate and also be safer and produce less pollution, as there would not be any need for crew facilities and systems like air-conditioning, electricity and sewage.
Despite the potential benefits, there are legal issues related to the use of unmanned ships due to set minimum crew requirements.
Meanwhile, chairman of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), a union that represents about 600,000 of the 1 million seafarers worldwide, Dave Heindel, said that drone ships cannot and would never replace the eyes, ears and thought processes of professional seafarers.
Although, the project is far from reality for another decade, once in gear, it would mean cheaper prices, faster and efficient delivery of goods from warehouse to customer.
(Posted on 10-03-2014)