Dieses Bild hat ein leeres Alt-Attribut. Der Dateiname ist foerdeareal-1024x292.png


Developing the infrastructure for a real-world test of autonomous sailing

The CAPTN Fjord Area project develops the necessary infrastructure for real-world testing of autonomous sailing and initiates further research projects.

The concept includes an integrated bridge system both on board and on shore, as well as a digital twin of the ship. The experimental vessel is controlled and monitored in real-time by the control center on shore.

Optimal real-time data exchange between the ship and the control center requires a stable IT infrastructure and a reliable mobile communication network. The latter is being developed in the CAPTN Fjord 5G project.

During the funding period, a digital test field will also be established. Here, the research vessel MV “Wavelab” will be able to test computer-aided autonomous driving. In addition, secure infrastructures, including a control center, will be established. The German Navy, Department for Maritime Technologies and Research WTD 71, has made the waters of the naval arsenal in Kiel-Dietrichsdorf available to us as a test site. The restricted area has no significant traffic and is therefore ideally suited for our purposes.

The research vessel will serve as a platform for academic researchers and research institutes. It will also offer industry partners the opportunity to test new solutions under real conditions and in interaction with other technologies. In November 2021, FuE GmbH of the Kiel University of Applied Sciences awarded the contract for the construction of the test vessel to the Kiel shipyard Gebr. Friedrich. It was handed over to the project partners in May 2023.

Equipping the digital test field marks the end of the project CAPTN Fjord Area I. Still, the project was able to continue to test autonomous sailing: In February 2023, the consortium led by the Kiel University of Applied Sciences received a renewed funding commitment from the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) as part of the DTW II program.

  • First drafts of a test vehicle: Concept of the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design (© Simeon Ortmüller, Vincent Steinhart-Besser)


The project is financed by the partners’ own grants and funds. In addition, in September 2020 an application was submitted to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of the funding guideline “Investments for the development of digital test fields on federal waterways” (dated June 30, 2020). It was granted; a second application was also successful.


  • Research and Development Center at the University of Applied Sciences Kiel GmbH
  • Kiel University
  • Anschütz GmbH
  • ADDIX Internet Services GmbH
  • Science Hub Kiel GmbH