Photo: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce, Sea Machines join hands on smart and autonomous ship control solutions

UK’s engineering company Rolls-Royce and Sea Machines Robotics, the USA-based startup developing autonomous ship solutions, have started a new collaboration that will deliver comprehensive remote command, autonomous control and intelligent crew support systems to the marine market.

Photo: Rolls-Royce

The collaboration will also “complement Rolls-Royce’s mtu NautIQ marine automation portfolio”.

As part of this agreement, Rolls-Royce business unit Power Systems and Sea Machines will join forces on the development and sale of fully and semi-autonomous vessel control systems.

The combination of Rolls-Royce’s propulsion and automation solutions with Sea Machines’ vessel control products will offer marine customers significant benefits in terms of vessel operations, safety, efficiency and environmental impact, the duo explained.

“Our autonomous vessel control products and advanced perception systems are pioneering the revolutionary shift of conventional and manual vessel control effort from human to intelligent technology. Autonomous systems take over routine efforts, reduce stress for crews and thus increase operational predictability and safety. The technology makes shipping more productive, economical and contributes to more sustainable operations,” Michael Johnson, CEO and founder of Sea Machines, said.

“As part of our PS 2030 strategy, we are evolving from a propulsion supplier to a provider of integrated sustainable solutions. In the marine sector, we want to provide our customers with complete solutions from ‘bridge to propeller’… We are delighted to have found another strong and agile partner in Sea Machines to help us achieve this,” Denise Kurtulus, Vice President Global Marine at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, commented.

The strategic cooperation will focus on products for remote and autonomous vessel control and situational awareness, primarily for yachts, commercial and government vessels. Under the deal, Rolls-Royce Power Systems will receive sales and service rights for existing and future Sea Machines products.

The two companies will also work together to develop new capabilities to provide customers with advanced total solutions that aggregate and analyze all vessel data and intelligently control vessels based on this information.

“Our aim is to offer our customers highly innovative and integrated solutions … – from propulsion, ship automation, bridge systems to semi and fully autonomous control systems, complemented by our digital solutions like our latest Equipment Health Management system mtu NautIQ Foresight. Following the acquisition of Servowatch and the inclusion of bridge systems into our newly launched mtu NautIQ portfolio, the agreement with Sea Machines is the logical next step,” Claudius Müller, Head of Business Development of the marine business at Rolls-Royce Power Systems, explained.