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

CNN  — 

A Norwegian company has created what it calls the world’s first zero-emission, autonomous cargo ship.

If all goes to plan, the ship will make its first journey between two Norwegian towns before the end of the year, with a reduced crew on board to test the autonomous systems. Eventually, all 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 Yara Birkeland is scheduled to make its first journey before the end of the year.

The shipping industry currently accounts for between 2.5% and