A flexible fully electric transport system on autonomous ships

To reduce traffic on a congested road network and emissions from transport, it is necessary to facilitate cost-effective and environmentally friendly transport of goods, even over short distances. In this pilot, a commercially and technically feasible zero-emission concept is developed, in which autonomous, electrically driven ships (sea drones) transport goods across the Oslo Fjord. Together with electric trucks for transport of goods to and from the port area, this constitutes a cost-effective, zero-emission system for door-to-door transport. The system is also flexible as it facilitates the transport of various types of cargo: Ro-Ro, container, and bulk.


The pilot started in 2018. The project has finalized the concept development phase, focusing on the ship’s propulsion and electrical system, cargo handling and analysis of commercial and technical risk, and has clarified issues regarding port facilities, shipyards, and documentation to the Norwegian Maritime Authority. The project has received a commitment of NOK 119 million from Enova.

In May 2020, the Norgesgruppen board decided to build the ships and a contract of two ships was awarded

ASKO has received the ships

The Indian state-owned Cochin Shipyard was chosen for the construction of the two sea drones. In June 2022, the yard completed its assignment. Almost two months later, the heavy lift vessel “Yacht Servant” arrived in Norway with the two new buildings on board. While writing this (September 2, 2022), completion is underway at the Horten shipyard. Kongsberg Maritime is installing sensors, cameras and equipment necessary for the ships to be able to sail autonomously. Nevertheless, and initially, the two ships will be manned. The goal is to be able to sail autonomously within a couple of years. The ships are 67 meters long and 15 meters wide with room for 16 trailers.

ASKO’s plans are that they will be able to cross the Oslo Fjord from Moss to Horten four times a day, and that this can be increased to a maximum of eight trips per day. A simple calculation indicates that up to 250 trailers can be transported by sea instead of by road on heavily trafficked roads between Moss and Horten every day.

The pilot project’s goal to:

  • reduce traffic on a partly congested road network
  • reduce total emissions from transportation
  • facilitate cost-effective and environmentally friendly transportation

….. has definitely been met.

The ships will be christened on September 14th and will start sailing in week 38 2023.

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