UAntwerpen and Port of Antwerp have already made first sea trials with innovative technology. Automated sailing is the future of inland shipping. Today it may still sound futuristic, but innovative research by UAntwerpen and Port of Antwerp brings the dream closer. 3D sonar sensors, inspired by bats, play an important role.
“Inland shipping is unfortunately not a fancy labor sector,” says Svetlana Samsonova. As liaison officer, she coordinates a whole series of joint research projects of the University of Antwerp and Port of Antwerp. “Attracting young talent is not easy. That is why we are very committed to innovation. Technology must strengthen the competitiveness of the inland shipping sector. ”
One of the projects revolves around autonomous sailing. An unmanned ship leads to serious cost reductions and offers an answer to the increasing mobility problems and rising prices of road transport. Samsonova: “Smart vessels are therefore part of a multimodal transport story, and the port of Antwerp wants to contribute to that.”
“More than 42% of all goods in the port of Antwerp were brought in or out by inland vessels in 2019. In other words, inland shipping is crucial to keep our city and port accessible. “Says Havenschepen Annick De Ridder.” By focusing on technology such as unmanned navigation, we want to further increase the share of inland shipping and its competitiveness. ”
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