Stockholm will launch the world’s first self-driving passenger ferry, powered entirely by electricity. The ferry will run between the Stockholm islands of Kungsholmen and Sodermalm, starting in June, 2023.
It is owned by Torghatten AS, one of Norway’s important companies in the transportation industry. Torghattan’s annual revenue is approximately NOK 3.7 billion and it has approximately 1250 employees. Its core business is seaborne transportation in Norway (Torghattan website), with over 90 passenger and ferry vessels. Torghattan is owned by the Swedish private equity company EQT.
Ideas for the ferry started at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. The goal was to create more sustainable urban mobility. The company Zeabuz was spun off from the autonomous vessel research community at NTNU, who built the first autonomous ferry prototypes, specifically to develop the autonomy system for these ferries.
Stockholm has many islands. Kungsholmen is central to the city, and is where the city hall (Stockholms stadshus) is located. Sodermalm is a neighboring island, just to the south. The distance traversed is not large, but an autonomous ferry will make it convenient to travel between the islands. There are bridges, but the ferry provides a walkable alternative.
A picture of the ferry is below.