Norway has become the first country in the world to design a driverless ferry.
Named 'MilliAmpere', the prototype is currently transporting users on the waterways of Trondheim in central Norway.
Developed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the electric 'autoferry' is fully autonomous and self propelled. It is fitted with a variety of sensors - radar, infrared, optical and LIDAR - to ensure that it doesn't collide with kayakers and other river traffic.
“This is a high-technology twist to creating connections across the water,”
said associated professor Dr Egil Eide, from NNTU’s Department of Electronic Systems, who is in charge of operations for the autoferry.
“We believe emission-free ferries can help improve urban residents’ quality of life. Driverless ferries can help develop regions that previously haven’t been linked to cities and towns due to a lack of infrastructure, for example.”
The current prototype is smaller than the full size version which will launch next year. The larger version will be able to carry at least 12 passengers, their bicycles and pushchairs.