> OUR CLIENT increase the number of lines. We hope this will enable us to offer a 24/7 service, on more routes, at a lower cost.’ THIS IS TEAMWORK However, the challenges are enormous. The exact meaning and scope of certain words and features alone must be properly agreed upon to avoid misunderstandings. Procedures for docking and departing the ferries need to be rewritten. Autonomous sailing even raises the question of who will be the captain of the future; someone who knows how to steer from a computer or someone with extensive experience on a ship? ‘Many shipyards decided not even to tender when they saw our specifications. They thought it was science fiction,’ says Froste. ‘Holland Shipyards Group was bold enough. ‘They take the risk to push the limits of what is possible.’ He continues: ‘This is not an order from a brochure; this is teamwork. There are no rules to follow, no one to tell you how to work because it’s never been done before.’ ‘THIS IS NOT AN ORDER FROM A CATALOGUE; THIS IS TEAMWORK.’ Another unique feature is that the ferries operate largely autonomously. For instance, a ferry has only 5 minutes to let everyone off and on board and, therefore, only 5 minutes to recharge the battery. ‘So, charging is done completely autonomously,’ says Froste. ‘A ferry will dock itself and then charge the battery directly via a large plug on one side of the ship. This also saves 25 per cent of energy; in old ferries, the propellers keep turning to push the ship against the shore. The departure is also autonomous; by not accelerating or braking excessively, we again save a lot of energy.’ Froste even wants the crossing to eventually be autonomous, with a crew still on board but a captain keeping an eye on several ferries from the shore. That’s not possible now, but he says: ‘Call me again in three years.’ He can already see the benefits. ‘Personnel costs will decrease while monitoring from shore will allow us to 11 ‘So what kind of company do you need?’, Froste wonders aloud. ‘A dedicated company that doesn’t change course if things get tough. Holland Shipyards Group is a family business; they, too, are in it for the long haul. The management has been very involved from the first tender and committed to delivering. We discuss our and their problems openly. That inspires confidence.’ Froste feels he is building with Holland Shipyards on ferries that will bring about a change in the entire industry. ‘They will be the first ships to sail automatically; others will come to see how we did it. Besides, it’s fun to do, and we learn a lot. It is an honour that I am in the position to do this.’ WWW.HOLLANDSHIPYARDSGROUP.COM

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