Marine

Volvo floats self-docking yacht technology

Volvo floats self-docking yach...
Volvo Penta's self-docking technology is expected to launch in 2020
Volvo Penta's self-docking technology is expected to launch in 2020
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Volvo Penta's self-docking technology is expected to launch in 2020
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Volvo Penta's self-docking technology is expected to launch in 2020

Cars that park themselves can not only make parking mishaps a thing of the past, but they could also make maximum use of lot space. But the auto space isn't the only area where autonomous technology has potential, as recently seen in Nissan's self-parking slippers. Now Volvo has demonstrated a yacht that can dock itself.

The Volvo Group is no stranger to self-driving technology development. In 2016, its FMX autonomous truck went underground to drive itself through the Boliden mine in Kristineberg, Sweden. The following year, Volvo Trucks began testing a self-driving garbage truck and now the Group's autonomous tech is set to make waves in the yachting world.

Volvo Penta unveiled the self-docking system over the weekend, where a 68 ft yacht maneuvered slipped between two of Volvo's Ocean Race 65 racing vessels. The sensors and computer controlling the show are reported capable of making lightning quick adjustments in response to changing wind and water conditions, tweaking power and steering of Volvo's IPS drive to ensure the yacht is berthed safely.

"Docking is one of the most challenging boat handling maneuvers – getting it wrong can be embarrassing, expensive and precarious," said Björn Ingemanson, President of Volvo Penta.

Volvo Penta's self-docking system hasn't been designed to be fully autonomous, but will still require the yacht's captain to be at the helm – ready to take over at the first sign of trouble, though the system can be paused at any time to hold the yacht in position.

The technology is being readied for launch in 2020. The video below shows the live demo at the Port of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Source: Volvo

Live demo of a self-docking yacht by Volvo Penta

2 comments
BrianK56
With all of the semi autonomous vehicles being put out the technology should excel that much faster.
MD
That was painful but damage free. I want to see it try with those boats too close together, despite the tapered bows the system needs to be able to reject a bad "dock" without getting half way done and say "nope", like a reverse parker finding the space is too small after holding up traffic for 5 minutes.