After recently unveiling its autonomous shipping fleet concept, Rolls-Royce has now turned its focus to the little boats that
do all the real grunt work around the harbor. By the year 2025,
Rolls-Royce imagines tugboat captains seated behind massive head-up
displays, watching ice floes pop up onscreen after being detected by the
ship's sensors. Even in the dead of night, objects and destinations
will be perfectly visible, whether or not they're obscured by objects on
the ship's deck.
Once the captain sets foot on the bridge, the entire room reconfigures itself, providing a perfectly ergonomic and user-specific environment. Video feeds from the boat's cameras can be seen not only
by the captain, but can also be shared with deckhands and the crews of
other vessels. This way, the tug's captain can provide visual
instructions as well as verbal ones. Soon, augmented reality and drones
could control every bit of the shipping industry, making it easier,
quicker and safer to send things across the world's oceans.
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