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AVATAR- Autonomous vessels, cost-effective transhipment, waste return

Welcome to AVATAR's website. AVATAR is a project co-funded by the North Sea Region Programme 2014 - 2020.

The massive under-exploitation of inland waterways (IWW) in the North Sea Region, especially in and around urban environments, provides opportunities for technological innovations. The AVATAR project aims to deploy zero-emission automated vessels that can do hourly traffic between the Urban Consolidation Centers outside the city and inner city hubs, focusing on the distribution of palletized goods and waste return.

The AVATAR project aims to tackle challenges of city freight distribution by developing, testing and assessing adequate technologies and business models for urban autonomous zero-emission IWT. Through this, the project unlocks the economic potential of urban vessels and corresponding waterways, increases available solutions for full-cycle automation and sets up a sustainable supply chain model for urban goods distribution and waste return.

Project focus:

- Development of prototypes of automated to autonomous ship units

- Development of remote monitoring and control concepts

- Development of use cases and business cases for use in an urban context

- Analysis of the political and legal framework for the deployment of autonomous ship units in the participating regions

- Performance of pilot tests

Project period: May 2020 - June 2023

Project budget: Total EUR 2,83 million, funding (ERDF): EUR 1,42 million




Latest Project News

AVATAR @ Transport Logistic Exhibitions 2023 (update)

23 March 2023

Meet AVATAR at Transport Logistic Exhibitions 2023!

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17 March 2023

The KU Leuven Intelligent Mobile Platforms research group will demonstrate the potential of zero-emission automated urban vessels on small inland wate…

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AVATAR @ German Society of Transport Sciences

13 March 2023

LIHH presented innovative last mile distribution concepts on the waterways.

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AVATAR - Project partners contributed to a Nature article on autonomous ships

02 March 2023

Research gaps in autonomous sailing identified.

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27 February 2023

AVATAR Interreg North Sea Region project partner Thomas Brauner (Logistics Initiative Hamburg) will participate at the MSCA ETN AUTOBarge event on Eur…

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