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First it was Amazon’s drones, now it’s unmanned ships. In Rolls-Royce’s vision of the future, containerships will be run by crew on shore. Aside from rotors for catching wind, there is no superstructure or crew’s quarters, just containers on a self-steering hull. This vision, however, remains some way off as it seems unlikely, given the parlous financial state of most shipping lines, that the necessary investment is going to be forthcoming any time soon.

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