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MV Wavelab

Our groundwork for a future (fjord) ferry

In cooperation with regional companies and the Kiel universities, we have developed the so-called experimental carrier “MS Wavelab”. This research vessel offers the opportunity to test autonomous navigation and modern propulsion systems. The catamaran is 21 meters long and eight meters wide. Its three-meter-high hulls house computers and control boxes as well as workstations for the researchers. The Wavelab is powered by an all-electric propulsion system that draws its energy from batteries and a fuel cell. The fuel cell could run on green hydrogen “Made in Schleswig-Holstein”.

Even before the test vessel was completed, the Schwentinel Line F2 was equipped with sensors and cameras. This was done in consultation with the Kieler Schifffahrts- und Ferriesgesellschaft (SFK), which operates all ferries on the fjord, in order to gather initial data for the planned autonomous shipping. This data will enable us to analyze the environment, which is important for autonomous driving. Our systems are learning to recognize inanimate objects and other road users even before they are deployed on the Wavelab.

The FuE-Center at the University of Applied Science Kiel oversaw the construction process, which took place at the local Gebr. Friedrich shipyard. Students of the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts created a visualization of the catamaran that was continuously adapted to the current conditions during the course of the work.

  • Test vehicle concept of the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design (© Simeon Ortmüller, Vincent Steinhart-Besser)


The Wavelab is part of the project CAPTN Fjord Area.


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



Design study for the test vehicle from Vincent Steinhart-Besser & Simeon Ortmüller (Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design)