Callboats is a Finnish company that operates the world’s first commercial autonomous water taxi service. The company’s boats, which are electric and solar-powered, can be ordered via an app and connect Helsinki with a nearby group of islands.
Callboats was founded in 2017 by Espoo-based company Mente Marine with the vision of revolutionizing water transportation by introducing autonomous electric water taxis. The company aims to provide sustainable, efficient, and accessible transportation options for both locals and tourists in Helsinki and beyond.
Before the official releasing, the company has been trialing captained electric services for the last 12 months, available through a smartphone app, and is now moving to autonomous operation, backed up by remote captains handling edge-case scenarios for several boats at a time.
Due to current regulations, these first self-piloted boats will still need to have at least one crew member on board at all times. But the boats should be able to handle the entire job themselves, using various 360-degree cameras and sensors to monitor their environment, track and avoid hazards, navigate the waterways and auto-deploy gangplanks at pickup and dropoff piers.
The boats themselves are 10-seaters, running four 10-kW electric pod thrusters for a relaxed maximum speed of 9 knots (17 km/h). A 60-kWh standard battery offers around nine hours of endurance at a slower 6 knots (11 km/h). There’s a 1.5-kW solar array on the roof, which might manage to charge the battery 8-10 kWh on a good day, but the remainder’s fed in through an 11 kW 3-phase charger.
According to the Internet