Autonomous Ships

Autonomous Ships is a strategic research project established by the CPS Lab in 2018 for studying methods and technology for enabling autonomous operations of maritime vessels.

The project is strongly geared towards SFI AutoShip, in which the CPS Lab is participating in WP3 on ROC and Human Factors.

We employ methodology from the fields of cybernetics, AI, optimization, formal methods, and more to solve situational awareness, guidance, navigation, control, and path planning problems such as collision-free and safe autonomous ship docking, mooring, harbour maneuvering, and transit.

We are particularly interested in the following research questions, which must be solved for autonomous ships to be adopted in the future:

  • how to evaluate the performance of AI algorithms, for example, with regard to safety or risk?
  • how to fully understand and predict the behaviour of AI algorithms (explainable AI, or XAI)?

Starting 2018, the project involves PhD students funded by the IE faculty, postdocs funded by the ERCIM Alain Bensoussan Fellowship Programme, master students, and staff from the IIR and ITK departments at NTNU:



  • Ramesh Chandra, postdoc, IIR (June 2019 – June 2020), funded by ERCIM
  • Rachid Oucheich, postdoc, IIR (June 2018 – June 2019), funded by ERCIM
  • MSc in simulation and visualization, Karl Eirik Aaasen, 2019
  • Sindre Fossen, MSc in simulation and visualization, 2018

In addition to the affiliation with NTNU AMOS – Centre for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems, the CPS Lab is involved in Autoferry, a project for autonomous all-electric passenger ferries for urban water transport, and cooperates with researchers at the Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering (IHB).

Edmund Førland Brekke has compiled a list of postdocs, PhD students, and supervisors working on autonomous ships at NTNU.