Rotterdam software start-up Captain AI has received 300,000 euros from investment fund Uniiq for the further development of fully autonomous ships. CEO Vincent Wegener: “This makes it possible for the first time to let a ship sail completely autonomously in a test environment in the port of Rotterdam. It’s important to be able to show that our algorithms make decisions just as well, if not better, than a human captain.”
The increasing traffic and the difficulty in finding sufficient qualified shipping personnel are major challenges for many ports and ship owners. Captain AI responds to this by developing software that enables safe autonomous sailing. By using simulations and artificial intelligence, the Rotterdam company’s software teaches itself to make the right decision in millions of complicated situations. Captain AI aims to create a considerably safer environment on the water, where more than 75 percent of accidents are caused by human error.
Captain AI was founded last year by Vincent Wegener, Gerard Simons, Gerard Kruisheer and Niels Stamhuis and has already received investments from Vstep and Post & Co, two Rotterdam companies active in maritime simulator software and maritime insurance, respectively. The first tests are currently being conducted at the Floating Lab of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.