China has started the construction of a test site for unmanned ships in Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, according to Xinhua News. It will allow emulation, testing and verification of various functions of unmanned ships, including tracking, route planning, berthing and departure.
It is a joint project of the Zhuhai city government, Wuhan University of Technology, the China Classification Society, and Oceanalpha, an unmanned vessel company. The test site will feature communication and navigation facilities as well as a berth, according to Oceanalpha sources.
In the first phase of this project, construction in an area of about 21.6 square kilometers will be completed. In the second phase, about 750 square kilometers of area will be occupied.
“Zhuhai hopes to become a high-tech base for the development, test and certification of unmanned ships in three to five years,” said Lu Xiaofeng, deputy mayor of Zhuhai.
The unmanned patrol ship of the Zhuhai-based company has been provided a license for test at the new site.
China is working on unmanned ships projects. According to CGTN, the world’s first unmanned container straddle carrier has been built in China and will start operating in June, 2018. It is as high as a four-story building, with six wheels. The unmanned straddle carrier are safer to operate and can work under all weather conditions. Straddle carriers are currently being used in ports worldwide to load and unload containers.