Boat Drones Propel One of China’s Hottest Startups


One of China’s emerging startup ‘Oceanalpha’ has proposed to build the World’s first autonomous cargo ship.

Project Cloudrift

The proposal to build an autonomous cargo ship by company has already set the ball rolling to create a huge revolution in the maritime industry within three years.

The project, called Cloudrift — a reference to the Chinese legend of the monkey king, who could summon a cloud on which he traveled — is racing against rivals to build an unmanned cargo ship within 2018.

Norway has created a test area for pilotless vessels in the Trondheim Fjord in a joint effort by the Norwegian University of Science Technology and companies including Rolls Royce.

Ship Specs

The Cloudrift’s ship will be battery powered and use China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system. The 50-meter vessel would have a loading capacity of 500 metric tons and a range of 500 nautical miles per charge. The company is building a test site of its own among islands about 50 kilometers from Zhuhai and the group is investing $10 million in cargo technology and $50 million in USV field-test development.

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