Massterly — Wilhelmsen & KONGSBERG’s New Autonomous Shipping Firm

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The prominent shipping industry firms Wilhelmsen and KONGSBERG are partnering to launch a new autonomous shipping firm by the name of Massterly. It is the world’s first such company, according to a press release announcing the matter.

Massterly will reportedly provide customers with the entire works when it comes to autonomous shipping — with vessel operation, design and development, logistics (via land-based control centers), and control systems.

So, to explain that a different way, Massterly intends to provide customers in the sector with anything they need when it comes to a transition to autonomous shipping tech.

The CEO of the Wilhelmsen group, Thomas Wilhelmsen, commented: “Currently, we are at the very beginning of this development, but we see and believe that there will be a significant market for these types of services in the near future. At first, short sea shipping will use autonomous ships. This also implies increased competitiveness to move transport from road to sea. The gains are increased efficiency and reduction of emissions. For Norway as a maritime nation, this will be an important contribution to reach the UN sustainable development goals.”

This announcement follows the announcement that the world’s first fully electric container vessel (and also a fully autonomous design) — the Yara Birkeland — would be launched within the near future. In that case, full autonomy is expected by 2020. The idea behind Massterly is that further ships along the lines of Yara Birkeland can be provided to customers and managed/operated by the provider (Massterly).

Current plans call for the new firm to be fully operational by the beginning of August, 2018.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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