For the first time ever, Holland Shipyards has held a “keel printing” ceremony. No welding of steel or aluminium, but a gigantic 3D printer is printing the keel of an autonomous, electric passenger ferry that will set sail in 2024 in Paris.

Athletes and visitors from around the world will have a glimpse of the future of waterborne mobility by crossing the Seine with a 3D printed, autonomous, electric passenger ferry. Together with partners Sequana Développement and Roboat, Holland Shipyards Group has been designated a winner in a countrywide call for projects in the field of autonomous decarbonated passenger boats.

The three companies won the order in December 2022, which was awarded by the French inland waterway authority, Voies Navigables de France. The ferry proposed by the winning consortium will be 3D printed and, with its dimensions of 9 by 3.90 metres, is the largest printed autonomous ferry ever.

The ferry is to be deployed in the summer of 2024 in a key location, still under wraps, in the vicinity of the major sporting events (the Olympic Games will be held in Paris in 2024) and will enable visitors to Paris and athletes to fulfill their mobility needs in a new and environmentally friendly manner.

Also read: De Bock orders two shortsea vessels with Holland Shipyards

New chapter in shipbuilding

The ferry is characterised by a state-of-the-art design, an autonomy system, electric propulsion, and has a 3D printed hull made of recycled material. Mooring and charging will happen automatically.

‘The 3D print build method opens up a new exciting chapter in shipbuilding,’ says Leendert Hoogendoorn, director Holland Shipyards Group.

Also read: MIT and AMS Institute to trial autonomous Roboat on Amsterdam Canals

Urban mobility challenges

Every city has to deal with urban mobility challenges and green transport over water can offer an excellent solution. Using autonomous electric ferries, can offer a sustainable solution for reducing city congestion and emissions. The ferries help cities solve their growing mobility needs by making better use of the waterways.

‘Autonomous ferries will create new connections over existing waterways in cities worldwide,’ says Ynse Deinema, CEO Roboat.

Also read: SFK orders two more ferries from Holland Shipyards

The 3D printed ferry Holland Shipyards will deliver to Paris.