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Tuesday 12 January 2021

Meet the ferry that arrives when you want it - and drives itself

Imagine a futuristic ferry that drives itself. 

The future is here with the imminent launch of Zeabuz - a new generation of water-borne urban transport - in the Norwegian city of Trondheim. 

These sleek, climate-friendly ferries will transport people across or along waterways on demand - almost like a floating elevator. 

The Zeabuz ferries will be equipped with cameras to scan for obstacles and a navigation system to monitor the boat's speed and position.

The small, autonomous ferry launches later this year. 
Passengers on each side of the canal that separates the port and Trondheim city centre can press a button to call a boat to them. The boat charges while it waits at the dock, fits up to 12 passengers as well as bicycles, and takes less than 60 seconds to make the crossing -- saving pedestrians a 15-minute walk.

The idea was developed in 2018 by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) as an alternative to a proposed bridge across Trondheim's harbour canal. 
The prototype was a hit and NTNU commercialized its research, forming Zeabuz in 2019 as part of a larger movement exploring how to use waterways for more sustainable transport.
Zeabuz will be introduced in other Norwegian cities and along the coast later in 2021. 
What a great idea for Sydney, Hobart, Bangkok or Vancouver!
Images: Zeabuz

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