Innovation That Matters

The Floating Platform ferry would use 5G to handle logistics and allow passengers to call the ferry for a pick-up 24/7 | Photo source CAPTN

Autonomous, electric ferry combines design, science and industry

Mobility & Transport

A design initiative hopes to create an incentive for people to travel by water with a connected, autonomous, electric ferry that operates on demand

Spotted: While it is certain that the future of transport will be more sustainable, exactly what this will look like is still up in the air. A team of designers from the CAPTN (Clean Autonomous Public Transport Network) initiative has proposed one answer with their concept for an electric ferry that is sustainable, accessible and networked.

The CAPTN VAIRARO project connects researchers from Kiel University, Muthesius University of Fine Arts, and partners in local government and industry, including Vodaphone and Raytheon. The goal is to provide a connected mobility chain that will encompass bus and ferry services to connect the east bank and west bank of the Kiel fjord. 

As part of the VAIRARO project, two concepts for autonomous, electric ferries have been proposed  — “Floating Platform” and “Passage”. The idea included encouraging people to use the ferry by making it a unique and attractive alternative to driving. Aside from the unique design, the proposal includes equipping the ferries with autonomous 5G logistics and having an on-demand, 24/7 service.

According to CAPTN, the project has been designed based on CAPTN’s motto, “making innovations visible”. The project team adds that, “The two different concepts of the VAIARO project with the names “Floating Platform” and “Passage” are characterized by pragmatism and radicalism in equal measure. For this purpose, leitmotifs for intelligent mobility and a new landmark in Kiel were developed.”

While the CAPTN ferry is still in the concept stage, there are a host of innovative and sustainable transportation initiatives that are already in development. These include a parking garage that rewards people for not parking and an algorithm that reroutes school buses in real-time, to save on time and fuel.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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