Rolls Royce has revealed its plans for making autonomous naval vessels which will be capable of surveilling the waters for 100 days at a go with a range of 3,500 miles at maximum speeds of more than 25 knots.

 “Rolls-Royce is seeing interest from major navies in autonomous, rather than remote controlled, ships. Such ships offer a way to deliver increased operational capability, reduce the risk to crew and cut both operating and build costs…Over the next 10 years or so, Rolls-Royce expects to see the introduction of medium sized unmanned platforms, particularly in leading navies, as the concept of mixed manned and unmanned fleets develops. With our experience and capabilities we expect to lead the field,” Benjamin Thorp, Rolls-Royce, General Manager Naval Electrics, Automation and Control, stated in the press release.

The self-navigating ship will be capable of navigating entirely without a human crew and will not be affected by human issues such as tedium.

The ship will be equipped with artificial intelligence based software and special sensors which will detect dangers and warn the rest of the fleet.

The primary purpose of this ship would be surveillance, so it will not be able to fight back. But, it will have a fully electric 1.5 megawatt propulsion system, that can stay undetected, even by submarines. It can even be shielded among other ships, but keep its high-end sensors paced to detect dangers. It could thus minimize maritime losses by issuing advance danger warnings based on the feedback received by its sensors.

“Globally, there are two mega trends facing every kind of business: electrification and autonomy. Navies are no different. Rolls-Royce is bringing these two developments together in an autonomous electrical unmanned platform. The demand for naval autonomous platforms is going to grow over the next 10 years and, with our experience and capabilities, we expect to lead the field,” Thorp said.

Rolls Royce plans to equip the boat with solar panels, which will generate 3,000 kilowatt-hours of energy storage.

The self-navigating ships will also be able to detect mines and fleets.

Simply put, it will increase the current navigational efficiency since it can sail out for days on end without issues plaguing ships with human crews. Rolls Royce says that the ship can also be used as a launch pad for drones, which could provide it with a militaristic aspect.

The company says that it has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.

Self-driving cars, self-navigating ships and self-flying planes are basically on the horizon and might become a reality soon. While the U.S. has already passed laws for self-driving cars, there are no maritime laws for self-navigating ships. It seems that the authorities might have to make them soon since the first fleets are expected by 2025.

As the technology gets more advanced, new security protocols might also be put into place.