Hyke delivers autonomous, electric ferries for urban transport that are both eco-friendly and economical. “We have developed a cleaner, smarter and modernised take on ferries. Our goal is to revolutionise everyday transport,” says Bjørn Utgård, CEO of Hyke.
The ideal city offers its residents a lifestyle full of opportunities – financially, culturally and socially. But when it comes to mobility, urban living creates transport challenges. Land-based transport uses up valuable urban space while creating congestion and pollution in many cases.
“We at Hyke believe it is critical to shift more transport back to the water. Doing so will free up space on land and make waterfront locations more accessible to all,” says Utgård.
Hyke is a revolutionary ferry solution, consisting of electric, autonomy-ready vessels, an intelligent docking and charging system and autonomous ferry management software.
The ferry is a 50-person vessel that features an electric powertrain for noiseless, sustainable operation. Built-in solar panels enable localised renewable energy production on board to power the vessel. At the docks, the ferry automatically charges itself wirelessly while it is locked in place as passengers and goods move on and off the boat.
Every vessel is fitted with Hyke’s autonomous vessel control technology from day one. Today, this can already improve operations by supporting the ferry captain with actions such as auto-crossing, auto-docking and environmental detection. Over time the ferries can transition to fully autonomous operations, where they are manned with just a safety officer or even remotely guided with no crew on board. This significantly reduces cost while increasing availability.
Hyke has developed a cleaner, quieter ferry solution for cities. “Our team has designed Hyke ferries to be emission free and energy efficient. The days of noisy, polluting vessels on our waterways are coming to an end,” says Utgård.
The ferries are loaded with intelligent features, enabling operators to improve safety through the auto-docking function supported by sensor packs, reduce costs by requiring less staff and optimise vessel deployment to increase efficiency.
Moreover, Hyke has created an enjoyable ferry ride. The exterior is sleek and simple, while the interior is spacious and air-conditioned. Being electric, the ferries operate without noise and emissions. “People are happiest near the water. A smart ferry ride can enhance well-being,” says Utgård.
The ferries are easily accessible for cyclists and those with limited mobility. Utgård envisions a more convenient ride as well. “We want to give people a sense of freedom. They should be able to reach their destinations quickly, rather than waste time waiting at the ferry dock,” he explains.
City ferries currently already transport 2 billion passengers per year, which is less than 1 per cent of the USD 460 billion global public transit market. Similarly, the market for first and last mile delivery services is projected to grow from USD 478 million in 2020 to USD 1380 million by 2028. This represents a huge, untapped market for smart ferries.
“We aim to scale up and industrialise water-based public transport. Our business is not only about electrifying existing operations but expanding the offering by orders of magnitude,” Utgård says.
“This is a new approach in this market. Our customers can easily acquire our off-the-shelf solution rather than sign long-term contracts for custom-built ferries and rely on government subsidies,” he explains.
“Our target customers include tourism destinations, real estate developers and transportation operators. We also work with stakeholders in city development, innovation, mass transit and city and port infrastructure,” he adds.
Hyke has several pilot customers already signed up and its solution will be market-ready in early 2023.