Rolls-Royce and Intel announce autonomous ship collaboration

16 October 2018

Rolls-Royce and Intel are intending to collaborate on designs for sophisticated intelligent shipping systems that will make commercial shipping safer, the parties announced today.

This will advance smart, connected and data-centric systems for ship owners, operators, cargo owners and ports, bringing together the expertise in advanced ship technology from Rolls-Royce with components and systems engineering from Intel. With a focus on safety, new ships will have systems with the same technology found in smart cities, autonomous cars and drones.

The new shipping intelligence systems will have data centre and artificial intelligence capabilities as well as sophisticated edge computing throughout that independently manage navigation, obstacle detection and communications. The components embedded in these systems are dedicated to work load consolidation, edge computing, communications and storage, including:

• Intel® Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology will solve design challenges associated with shipping intelligence by providing engineers with a flexible platform and the IP and components for edge operations such as obstacle detection and navigation

• Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors optimised for High Performance Computing (HPC) technology will manage complex modelling of ship functions, with future developments using learning models to support fully autonomous operations

• Memory and storage, including Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory and Intel® Optane™ SSD Intel® 3D NAND SSD will ensure ship intelligence systems are reliable, responsive and support extracting maximum value from the data generated through real-time analysis and systems modelling

Kevin Daffey, Rolls-Royce, Director, Engineering & Technology and Ship Intelligence said: “We’re delighted to sign this agreement with Intel, and look forward to working together on developing exciting new technologies and products, which will play a big part in enabling the safe operation of autonomous ships. This collaboration can help us to support ship owners in the automation of their navigation and operations, reducing the opportunity for human error and allowing crews to focus on more valuable tasks.

“Simply said, this project would not be possible without the leading-edge technology Intel brings to the table. Together, we’ll blend the best of the best, Intel and Rolls-Royce to change the world of shipping.”

Adrian Criddle, General Manager and SVP of Intel UK said: “Rolls-Royce is a key driver of innovation in the shipping industry we are proud to be working with them on smart, connected and data-centric systems that will be a foundation for safe shipping operations around the world in the future.”


Image by Rolls-Royce Group plc

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

1. Rolls-Royce pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver the cleanest, safest and most competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs.

2. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.

3. Annual underlying revenue was £15 billion in 2017, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £78.5 billion at the end of December 2017.

4. In 2017, Rolls-Royce invested £1.4 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.

5. Rolls-Royce employs 55,000 people in 50 countries. More than 19,400 of these are engineers.

6. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2017 we recruited 313 graduates and 339 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes.

Rolls-Royce Group plc press release