In November 2018, ABB and Helsinki City Transport successfully completed the remote trial, which was the world’s first for an existing passenger ferry. ABB has retrofitted Suomenlinna II with the intelligent maneuvering and control system ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot Control, which has enabled the trial.
The ferry was wirelessly operated through a pre-selected area of Helsinki harbor from a control center in the Finnish capital.
During the trial, which took place when the vessel was off hire and in an area free of other vessels, there were no passengers on board. Following the trial, Suomenlinna II continues its voyages from Helsinki to Suomenlinna fortress, the UNESCO World Heritage site on a nearby island, utilizing a set of conventional onboard controls. Research and development will continue with the ferry and her crew.
Speaking after the voyage, Captain Lasse Heinonen said: “The progress we have made with the remote trial has been remarkable. I believe we are on the right track to exploring further possibilities of this technology as we move forward.”