China Moving Forward with Unmanned Ship Research

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August 12, 2015

Internationally, Roll-Royce has been appointed to lead the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications, a project that could pave the way for autonomous, unmanned ships in the not-so-distant future. Illustration: Rolls-Royce


The government of China is moving forward with a research project that will explore potential future uses of unmanned ships.

China’s Maritime Safety Administration says the project, called “Unmanned Multifunctional Maritime Ships Research and Development Project”, received unanimous approval to move forward with its research.

The project was first established in 2012 by the China Maritime Safety Administration along with its partner Wuhan University of Technology and, after 3 years, the project has completed development and won four national patents, the Administration said.

A statement from the Administration said that as the development of unmanned ships gains traction internationally, the goal of the project is to find ways in which autonomous ships can be used within its own maritime system – such as oceans, fisheries, weather, board defense, military etc. 

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