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World’s first autonomous USV for charter launched

Zero USV, a collaboration between the founders of Marine AI and MSubs, are to launch the world’s first fully autonomous uncrewed surface vessel (USV) fleet for long term lease or charter.

The collaboration aims to have the first vessels tested and available by September 2024.

Features of the Oceanus12 vessel will include a twin-electric drive for optimum redundancy, and a hybrid powertrain for resilience and efficiency, coupled with Marine AI’s GuardianAI autonomy software stack.

The company’s founder, Matthew Ratsey, explained that Oceanus12 is designed specifically for autonomous operations and will allow increased efficiency with payload flexibility and reduced risk.

Marine sensors, including the W-band Navtech Radar, will form a key part of sensor data streams feeding into Marine AI’s GuardianAI autonomy software for real time processing and analysis, and ultimately COLREG compliant vessel control and navigation.

The first Oceanus12 vessels will be tested and available by September 2024. Image courtesy Zero USV
The first Oceanus12 vessels will be tested and available by September 2024. Image courtesy Zero USV

“There has long been a requirement for proper ‘over the horizon’ capable USVs to fulfil a whole host of roles, but pulling the relevant technologies together has been extremely difficult for vessel operators. Zero USV solves that,” said Matthew.

“We now have the world’s first solution to the problem, by not only offering a state-of-the art 12m over the horizon USV as a charter vessel, but also with the full back up and maintenance support to ensure 24/7 operations with minimal downtime.

“With safety and economy uppermost, the vessel will be available for charter or long-term lease for myriad offshore tasks which would otherwise require human presence, with the associated risks, and on water crew costs.”

The companies were behind the first full-size unmanned research vessel to conduct scientific experiments whilst autonomously navigating across the Atlantic Ocean.

Two Oceanus12 class vessels are currently in build by Dorset based Manor Marine with a further eight planned for 2025.

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