Autonomous cruising technology promises to transform superyacht design. Lord’s way.

Over the past 10 years, the wheelhouses of most superyachts have undergone a remarkable transition from strictly functional to space-age sophistication. Hundreds of yards of cable and analog technology have been replaced by digital switching systems and fashion, Star Trektouch screen. The helm is now as stylish and advanced as the rest of the boat and can be rightfully bowed.

We will soon see another major shift, this time towards fully autonomous navigation. Massimo Minnella, founder of Team Italia, said: “When the technologies we are working on are ready, they will revolutionize cab design.”

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Various designers have been hard at work writing autonomous concept designs straight out of sci-fi movies.With Emmanuel Klissarov’s Moondance, Ultra Design’s Pagoda, Feadship’s pure, and the Paul Agency’s Solaris concepts. “Increased autonomy, especially at level 5 [full automation] will give designers unprecedented freedom to express their creativity,” Klissarov noted.

Autonomous navigation will reshape the interior design of superyachts.
One of the by-products of not having a cab is better visibility for owners and guests. The superyacht launch Moondance is a good example.

By its very nature, autonomy allows designers to replace human-navigation elements in traditional cockpits with more innovative design possibilities, including redefining the basic layout. “The interior layout can be set freely with autonomous navigation and situational awareness sensors,” said Joonas Vartola, Ultra’s head of design. Klissarov added: “There will be a clear design change in the overall appearance of the vessel, in terms of proportions, but also in terms of functionality with a clear focus outward. The yacht will open up.”

Translation: A superyacht may no longer require a traditional bridge on the upper foredeck of the ship. Designers can use these upper decks to provide owners and guests with 360-degree, uninterrupted views. Feadship’s Pure, for example, has moved its “command center” wheelhouse to the lower deck, using 360-degree augmented reality displays to provide clear views of the water and project navigation data onto the screen. The captain controls the ship by standing behind a small windowless console deep inside the ship. The space that was once the cab is now free for other uses.

Autonomous solutions “are already common on submarines and naval vessels,” said Bram Jongepier, a senior expert at De Voogt. Jongepier acknowledged Feadship’s “controversial proposal” but added that “superyachts surround their owners and many prefer to have a forward-facing panorama cabin in the area where the wheelhouse would normally be. Putting the bridge higher affect the shape.”

Autonomous navigation will reshape the interior design of superyachts.

Fully autonomous ships are still years away, but wheelhouse designers like Team Italia have been busy working on new concepts like the Air Helm.

Joksa Heikkila of Ultra design adds that freeing up this space allows “the best ‘seats’ in the yacht to be reserved for the guests and the owner, not the technology,” whose Pagoda concept also makes the boat look more elegant by removing the traditional wheelhouse. Fashion.

Other designers equate autonomy and enhanced vision, but for other vessel types. Klissarov’s Moondance, a limousine dinghy for self-driving superyachts, frees up headroom for a clearer forward view, but “variable opacity” (think tinted windows) and ” The “stargazing” roof provides a new type of experience for guests and owners traveling to and from the mothership.

Autonomous navigation will reshape the interior design of superyachts.

Instead of a captain at the helm, Moondance has an AI unit at the front that performs all ship handling functions.

Paul Cazaux-Debat of the Paul Agency said new ways of using yachts will automatically emerge from autonomous changes. “Increased autonomy will make the user experience easier and more enjoyable,” he said. “Autonomy opens up the possibility of carrying out different activities on board.”

How this will ultimately play out remains to be seen, but it is clear that the autonomy revolution will drive superyacht design as much as it steers ships.

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