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Green urban mobility with Zeabuz autonomous electric ferries

Published 7 Jul 2022 (updated 29 Apr 2024) · 2 min read
autonomous electric ferry sailing across a river

At a glance

  • Autonomous, zero-emission ferry running along or across urban waterways
  • Will facilitate sustainable urban mobility
  • Will make emission-free transport more attractive for city dwellers

The Zeabuz ferry opens up a new world of waterborne urban transport, reducing congestion and emissions while promoting pedestrianism and biking.

The climate crisis, combined with growing awareness of the health effects of local air pollution from car use, is increasing demand for smart, zero-emission mobility solutions. As the global trend of urbanisation is likely to continue in the coming decades, cities urgently need to develop innovative and clean transportation systems.

Urban transportation systems are almost wholly dependent on roads and tracks. However, most cities also possess waterways in some shape or form, which represent a vastly underused resource for clean and efficient urban mobility.

Autonomous electric ferry opens up waterways

The Zeabuz is a small, autonomous, battery-driven ferry that can transport people across or along waterways on demand. Using state-of-the art sensor and navigation technology, this self-driving ferry can safely manoeuvre among other boats, dock to the quay by itself and handle passengers safely.

By increasing the ease, efficiency and sustainability of waterborne transport, Zeabuz can complement existing public transport infrastructure and lower the threshold for people to move about on foot or on bike. This can reduce car traffic and congestion, which helps cities to cut emissions and promote public health.

Illustration of an electric and autonomous ferry docking

Concrete benefits

Most cities depend on bridges and tunnels in order to traverse waterways, which are inflexible infrastructure with high construction and maintenance costs. Zeabuz will enable smart urban planning by increasing the utility of areas that have previously been deemed inaccessible due to intervening waterways.

Market potential

The market for smart and green urban mobility solution is expected to grow significantly, as 2.5 billion will be added to the urban population by 2025. Because many of the world’s cities are situated around waterways, there is a sizeable market potential for smart, waterborne transport solutions.

Zeabuz is a spin-off from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), home to one of world’s foremost research ecosystems for autonomous and electric marine transport.

The company is looking for partners for development and production, and aims to deliver the first models to pilot customers in 2022.

illustration of autonomous electric ferry

Erik Dyrkoren


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