With the establishment of a German initiative, SEAFAR aims to advance remote-controlled and crew-reduced inland navigation on German waterways on the path towards a (semi) autonomous future. The inland shipping companies HGK Shipping and Reederei Deymann provide seven ships for the project.

The three parties involved see remote-controlled and crew-reduced shipping as a future-proof solution to secure the future viability of German and European inland navigation. With more than 7000 km of rivers and canals, Germany’s waterway network is one of the most extensive within Europe and connects vital industrial centres along the Rhine and its tributary waters.

The initiative is intended to support the inland waterway sector in successfully and sustainably meeting the serious shortage of personnel, as well as the challenges posed by the climate crisis and the resulting impact on the capacity of inland waterway transport.

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Demonstration of remote-controlled inland navigation

In close cooperation with ministries, authorities and state governments, SEAFAR will demonstrate its technology and service in operation on various waterways within Germany. The aim is to demonstrate the safety and reliability of remote-controlled and crew-reduced inland navigation under real conditions.

The project partners are providing a total of seven vessels for the initiative. SEAFAR is contributing the necessary know-how and leverages its experience of the past two years operating remote-controlled and crew-reduced inland vessels in Belgium. In addition, SEAFAR is investing in a Remote Control Centre in Duisburg, which will enable operation by remote control in Germany from the beginning of 2023.

Picture by SEAFAR.

Also read: Belgian shipowner orders ten semi-autonomous ships with RensenDriessen Shipbuilding