Rolls-Royce might be best known as a luxury car brand but it does so much more than that, for example, it also makes engines for airplanes. The British company has now set its sights on autonomous cargo ships as it aims to deploy remote-controlled cargo ships as early as 2020. These ships won’t require onboard crew as they will be controlled via virtual decks on land that’s thousands of miles away from the actual ship that’s at sea.

Land-based crews would control the cargo ships through virtual decks complete with virtual reality views and monitoring drones that will be used to effectively keep an eye on things. Rolls-Royce points out that there are several advantages to operating these cargo ships.

Since they won’t require a crew onboard there will be no need to add a bridge or living quarters which means that there is going to be more space for cargo. The ships will also be more efficient and safer since the human risk factor will be eliminated, the worst pirates can do if they take over a remote-controlled ship is make off with the cargo, at least they won’t be able to hold hostages or harm them.

Rolls-Royce aims to launch the first remote-controller cargo ships by 2020. It’s also working on autonomous boats that won’t require humans as well, the boats might take up to two decades to hit the seas.

If cargo ships are not your cup of tea perhaps you might like to see the super-luxurious Rolls-Royce of the future.

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