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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 - Webinar on Hamburg's transport and sustainability strategies

16 May 2023

How do Hamburg’s transport & sustainability strategies align with the AVATAR concept of zero emission urban inland waterway transport? – An analysis

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15 May 2023

Registration is open!

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AVATAR – New milestone! – Vessel launching

12 May 2023

It was an exciting day for the AVATAR project with the launch of the new AVATAR vessel in the water on 10/5/2023.

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AVATAR - Policy Position Paper

04 May 2023

How to foster urban freight transport using waterways? How can (highly) autonomous zero-emission vessels play a role in that?

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04 May 2023

Interested in the results of the AVATAR Interreg North Sea Region project on (highly) autonomous sailing and city freight distribution?

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