Navigating the future of autonomous ferries in Kiel

- A regional innovation network explores autonomous and environment-friendly public transportation -

Imagine the future of public transport in a city like Kiel, where we love living close to the water, on the east side or the west side of the Kiel Fjord. Today, more than 100,000 cars use the inner-city motorways each day to go around the Kiel Fjord and get from home to work, school or shopping and back.


But what if you could avoid waiting for crowded buses or spending hours in your car stuck in traffic jams? What if you could board an autonomous ferry shuttle that takes you quickly and safely over the waters to your destination? And when you are back on land, what if you could change to emission-free buses immediately and reach your destination on time?

Here’s how this could all become reality.
Raytheon Anschütz, a business of Raytheon Technologies, works together with the three universities of Kiel, other local companies and the local administration on the “CAPTN” project, which is short for “clean autonomous public transport.”

The vision of the regional innovation network is to create an urban mobility system characterized by intelligent, connected autonomous public transport systems to make traveling in Kiel safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly. Raytheon Anschütz is using its vast experience to develop the central part of autonomous navigation for the ferry shuttles within the project. The development includes specific aspects such as:

  • Assistance systems for collision avoidance, track control and docking
  • Radar processing with artificial intelligence
  • Control, monitoring and communication via a land-based control center

The CAPTN project team participated in the future cluster competition for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and successfully qualified for the final stage. The team is submitting a full concept in October. Seven of the final competitors will receive significant funding over the next nine years. This funding would be a great opportunity for the science community and economy in Schleswig-Holstein and would promote the mobility and climate change not only in the Kiel region but nationwide, even internationally.