Tuco Launches Autonomous Workboat
For some time now, the prospect of autonomous vessels has attracted attention in the maritime industry not only commercially but also politically in Denmark as part of the Blue Growth campaign. In 2017 the Danish Maritime Authority, spurred on by industry minister Brian Mikkelsen, and the Technical University of Denmark co-published a report to pave the way for autonomous ships in Denmark.
”Of course we have been following the developments and the market interest in unmanned vessels,” says Jonas Pedersen, CEO at Tuco Marine. “Digitisation and automation makes its entrance on all markets today, and since we have an ambition to be at the vanguard of this development, we have sought out partners that can help us achieve our goal. As you can probably understand, we are thrilled that our collaboration with the technology provider, Sea Machines, now makes it possible for us to offer both remote controlled and autonomous operation as an option in all our ProZero vessels”.
A meeting with the Danish Maritime Authority in the summer of 2017 boosted the progress when board members casually mentioned to Tuco Marine and Sea Machines that it would be great to have an operational vessel ready on 14 November 2017 for the international conference on unmanned ships organised by the Danish Maritime Authority. “We simply couldn’t let the opportunity pass,” says Mr Pedersen. “Ever since, we have been working determined together with Sea Machines to introduce a demonstrator vessel prior to the conference. Furthermore, the vessel makes it possible for interested clients to visit Tuco Marine and gather real experience with autonomous ships and get a better grasp of the potential held in the technology with regards to for instance increased safety during dangerous operations, efficiency in cleanup of oil spill, hydrographic surveys and other repetitive and time-consuming operations”.
The demonstrator is based on the ProZero concept. ProZero is Tuco Marine’s series of fast workboats for professionals. The vessels are developed to serve within the three sectors; Offshore, Workboats and Defence. The ProZero boats are already available in multiple versions, each of which is carefully designed to meet unique customer specifications, but now this offering has been expanded to include autonomous operating capability.