First Test Area for Autonomous Shipping Opened in Finland

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Jaakonmeri Test Area (to be named) in Finland has the unique distinction of being the first ever test area for autonomous maritime traffic, vessels or technologies related to it. It is open globally to anyone wishing to test in the maritime domain and offers testing in open waters as also, ice conditions during winter months.

The decision to establish this test area bears witness to the Finnish government’s strong desire for a digital future. According to Anne Berner, Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications, promotion of digitalization and extensive utilization of automation and information are the driving forces of the government key projects.”  The government has invested in intelligent fairways and the closest one is near the test area, on the fairway to Rauma.

The founding partners in the One Sea – Autonomous Maritime Ecosystem (founded in 2016) are ABB, Cargotec (MacGregor and Kalmar), Ericsson, Meyer Turku, Rolls-Royce, Tieto and Wärtsilä. In addition, the association of Finnish Marine Industries supports the work, and the Finnish funding agency TEKES has invested in the ecosystem

The first tests are to be conducted in the first half of 2018, however, they could commence in the latter part of 2017 too. Companies, research institutes and others wishing to run tests on the area, can contact DIMECC through the One Sea website.