World’s first crewless, zero emissions cargo ship will set sail in Norway

World's first crewless, zero emissions cargo ship will set sail in Norway

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If all goes to plan, the ship will make its first journey between two Norwegian towns before the end of the year, with no crew onboard. Instead, its movements will be monitored from three onshore data control centers.

It’s not the first autonomous ship — an autonomous ferry launched in Finland in 2018 — but it is the first fully electric container ship, say its makers. Developed by chemical company Yara International, the Yara Birkeland was designed to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, which are toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases, and carbon dioxide, as well as moving freight away from roads to the sea.
The shipping industry currently accounts for between 2.5% and 3% of global greenhouse gases emissions, according to the International Maritime Organization.
Nearly all of Norway’s electricity is generated by hydroelectric power, which is generally considered to have much lower carbon emissions than burning fossil fuels, although it still produces greenhouse gases.
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