Robo-Ferry Service Launches in the Netherlands


July 29, 2021

Buffalo Automation, which develops artificial intelligence systems, has partnered up with Europe’s Future Mobility Network to launch Europe’s first fully autonomous robotaxi service in the Netherlands. The service provides autonomous commercial ferry service that can carry passengers in dense European traffic.

The autonomous and solar-powered ferry service, dubbed “Vaar met Ferry,” is subsidized by the Dutch provincial government, and will be free for residents until October 2021. The service allows Warmond-Kagerzoom, Leiderdorp and a nearby golf course to have better connections, especially for bicyclists and pedestrians, to the Koudenhoorn recreation area.

“From its inception, Buffalo Automation’s goals have been to improve safety and decarbonize the water through the use of our technology,” said Thiru Vikram, CEO of Buffalo Automation. “This project was made possible by like-minded local community and business leaders who are open to exploring alternative transport models. This historic launch will solidify our commitment to providing the people of South Holland a safe, clean energy means of transportation that protects their numerous blueways and natural resources.”

Founded in 2015, Buffalo Automation has developed a large self-learning maritime AI database, and is developing advanced AI for autonomous transport and navigation, as well as solar-powered electrification of marine vessels. The flagship product, AutoMate, is a predictive marine navigation system that guides large commercial ships, utilizing AI neural networks and thermal imaging technologies to identify even the smallest obstructions and safety issues to navigate around them. AutoMate has been adopted by multiple commercial ships operating on the American Great Lakes, and has new pilot programs around the world.

Launched first in Knoxville, Tenn., Greycraft autonomous navigation technology is designed to be powered primarily by solar panels with battery capacity reserved only for range-extension, low-light operation or emergencies.

“Because of the measures to contain the coronavirus, we are increasingly going out in our own country,” said Anne Koning, provincial executive of South Holland. “As a result, the recreational pressure in our green areas has increased considerably. With a financial grant from the province of South Holland, we are realizing an extra connection to the island of Koudenhoorn. This is how we hope for a better spread of visitors, and we will ensure that recreants can also be safe this summer to enjoy this beautiful area.”

For more information on Buffalo Automation, visit its website here.

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