Rolls-Royce reveals self-piloted navy ship powered by artificial intelligence
Rolls-Royce plans to make a self-piloting navy ship, powered by artificial intelligence, sophisticated sensors and advanced propulsion, for sale to military forces around the world.
Source: Nathan Bomey,
With range of 3,500 nautical miles, the 60-meter-long vessel would be able to operate on its own without human intervention for more than 100 days.
Rolls-Royce, the British company known for its aircraft engines and luxury automotive heritage, revealed a concept version of the vessel in multiple photos released Tuesday.
Amid increasing concern among some technologists about the prospect of self-aware artificial intelligence systems becoming a threat to humanity, the company said it was already conducting "significant analysis of potential cyber risks" to "ensure end-to-end security."
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The vessel's missions could include patrol and surveillance, fleet watch or sea mine detection. Drones could help the ship accomplish its missions. The company made no mention of use in combat.
Exact timing of the ship's rollout was not immediately clear. But the company said it "expects to see the introduction of medium-sized unmanned platforms, particularly in leading navies" within about the next 10 years.
Rolls-Royce released this photo of the concept version
Rolls-Royce released this photo of the concept version of its autonomous naval ship. (Photo: Rolls-Royce)
“Rolls-Royce is seeing interest from major navies in autonomous, rather than remote controlled, ships," Benjamin Thorp, Rolls-Royce general manager of naval electrics, automation and control, said in a statement. "Such ships offer a way to deliver increased operational capability, reduce the risk to crew and cut both operating and build costs."
The company said the autonomous ship would run on electrical propulsion derived from diesel or gas engines. It would also have solar panels for standby power.
Rolls-Royce has about 50,000 employees in 50 countries and serves many industries, including aerospace, marine and power systems.
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