Port of Hamburg Tests Autonomous Boats for Bottom Surveys


Published Aug 28, 2019 10:02 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of Hamburg is currently testing autonomous surface vessels (ASVs) for hydrographic surveys of its busy inner harbor. These vessels are already in use in nearby areas outside the port, but have not yet been deployed within the harbor due to the high volume of traffic. 

Together with MacArtney Germany, HafenCity University and L3-ASV, the port recently invited 120 experts to a workshop on the use of autonomous / automated vehicles in hydrography. Two ASVs, the C-CAT3 and C-Worker 5, were presented during the workshop and used to conduct a hydrographic survey of the Baakenhafen area. However, they were not allowed to drive autonomously just yet, as the event was a test, and they were operated remotely from land instead.

Safety is the port's top priority, so extensive testing is being carried out to see how the drones can operate autonomously within the port. The Port of Hamburg says that this is a new technological milestone, and that it is generating interest from its neighboring port authorities in northern Europe.