On the ship bridges of the future, mariners will see the invisible world

3D animated videos of VTT and Rolls-Royce’s vision of seafaring in 2025 

VTT and Rolls-Royce have worked together on brand new solutions for crews manning the bridges of tugs, cargo ships, and platform supply vessels in the year 2025. These innovations draw on the long experience Rolls-Royce has with developing bridge design and also on mariners’ operational expertise. The visions for 2025 have been illustrated in the shape of stories and pictures, and finally turned into impressive 3D animations produced by TrollVFX. Also remote operation of ships belongs to the vision of future seafaring, and a new research project coordinated by VTT has started.

In the design of future innovations for seafaring, VTT’s researchers in cooperation with Rolls-Royce combined research of crew operations, future studies, and user experience design. Crewmembers, including ship captains and first mates, were on board this project to evaluate ideas contributing to safety, energy savings, and functionality.

The designs are very forward-looking, envisioning what seafaring could be like a decade from now, and are presented in video form – this approach can renew the thinking of the key players in this field.

Working on a ship’s bridge in 2025

Most of the solutions shown in the videos – even the unusual ones – can be implemented using existing technologies.

Smart workstations adjust themselves based on who sits down at them. The bridge window serves as a heads-up display, showing not only navigation information, but also the routes of one’s own ship and other ships. Augmented reality technology enables crewmembers to keep an eye on obstacles that would otherwise be obscured by distance or weather. A sea ice analyser indicates whether the planned route in ice conditions is safe and economically feasible. In the future, it will still be important for the watchman to keep his or her eyes on the sea: for instance, when it is dark outside, the window displays thermal camera images directly over the external world, enabling the watchman to remain focused on the sea.

Remote control – the future of maritime transport?

In terms of the technology required, operating a container vessel by remote control is already a real possibility. However, before fully unmanned vessels can be launched on seas, widespread public approval is also required.

Remote control is already an alternative, with certain functions being controlled from the ship's bridge or, alternatively, from a land-based control room. This helps to improve maritime safety, facilitate assignments and increase the cost-efficiency of shipping companies.

One of the most successful FIMECC UXUS Projects in 2013

The ship bridge project was carried out as part of innovation company FIMECC Oy’s FIMECC UXUS programme (User experience and usability in complex systems) in 2012–2013. “The project has successfully combined experience-driven design, in-depth psychological and operational analysis of tasks, and the envisioning of future technological solutions, and has packaged them in the form of impressive, futuristic videos that will inspire actors in this field to adopt user experience based solutions,” says Programme Manager Maaria Nuutinen.

FIMECC is a cluster for cutting-edge strategic expertise in metals and engineering. Its mission is to bring together industry’s views on future sources of competitiveness with the expertise of research institutions. http://www.fimecc.com/

The main participants in the project were Rolls-Royce Marine, VTT, and Aalto University. The 3D animated videos were made by TrollVFX, a company known for its work on the film Iron Sky.

In an on-going FIMECC UXUS project VTT, Rolls-Royce Marine and University of Tampere are studying the remote control of ships. The project will end in 2015.

Tug bridge video in YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27uCL90s20o

Rolls-Royce presents the future of tug bridge controls.

Rolls-Royce created this concept video in a FIMECC UXUS project that developed user experience and usability in complex systems program (FIMECC is Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster). This future bridge operation concept for tugs was envisioned together with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2012–2013.

MEDIA MATERIAL in web: http://www.vtt.fi/news/2014/17032014_uxus.jsp?lang=en

Further information:

Research Scientist Hannu Karvonen, tel. +358 (0)40 0216396, hannu.karvonen@vtt.fi (ship bridges of the future)

Research Scientist Mikael Wahlström, tel. +358 (0)20 722 5260, mikael.wahlstrom@vtt.fi (ship bridges of the future)

Rolls-Royce Marine
Oskar Levander, tel. +358 40 556 5547, oskar.levander@rolls-royce.com (remote control of ships)

Rolls-Royce Marine
Iiro Lindborg, tel. +358 50 358 3457, iiro.lindborg@rolls-royce.com (ship bridges of the future)

Rolls-Royce Marine
Anette Bonnevie Wollebaek, Senior Communications Manager
abw@rolls-royce.com, tel. +47 97 67 08 82

Rolls-Royce in Finland
Rolls-Royce operations in Finland are based in two facilities on the country’s west coast at Rauma and Kokkola. Our facilities in Finland focus on the design, marketing and manufacturing of marine equipment, with a product range that includes azimuth thrusters, winch systems and waterjets for a large variety of vessel types. Rolls-Royce in Finland employs 594 people of which 510 in Rauma and 84 in Kokkola. The turnover in 2013 was 579 million euros of which 99,5% was exported worldwide.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
VTT is a leading multitechnological applied research organization in Northern Europe. VTT creates new technology and science-based innovations in co-operation with domestic and foreign partners. Every third Finnish technology innovation contains VTT expertise. VTT’s turnover is EUR 310 million and its personnel totals 2,900.

Further information on VTT:

Olli Ernvall
Senior Vice President, Communications
358 20 722 6747



Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy on yksi Euroopan johtavista tutkimus- ja teknologiaorganisaatioista. Tuotamme teknologiseen ja tieteelliseen osaamiseemme pohjautuvia innovaatiopalveluja asiakkaillemme ja yhteistyökumppaneillemme. Käytämme vuosittain 4 000 000 tuntia aivovoimaa uusien älykkäiden teknologioiden, kilpailukykyä tehostavien ratkaisujen sekä innovatiivisten palvelujen tuottamiseen.