The project consortium

The team introduces itself

For the implementation of the project, several partners from the environment of the University of Duisburg-Essen have pooled their competences. Together with HGK Shipping as an associated partner, the consortium has the resources for the successful implementation of the ambitious project.

The composition of the project team illustrates the innovative strength of Duisburg as an important shipping and logistics location.


The DST – Development Center for Ship Technology and Transport Systems e.V. works as an affiliated institute of the University of Duisburg-Essen on the development of innovative solutions for inland and coastal shipping. The history of the DST goes back to 1954. Since 2019, the development of automated driving in inland navigation is a new research focus.

Institute for Ship Technology, Ocean Engineering and Transport Systems

In research, the institute particularly concentrates on the fields of numerical and experimental hydrodynamics as well as fluid-structure interaction. Investigations are also made in the field of ship and offshore technology. At the institute’s own laboratories, experimental tests are conducted to determine the behaviour of multi-phase fluids (sloshing, slamming, cavitation etc.). Moreover, numerical simulations in the maritime context are carried out (wave-induced motions and loads, propulsion, manoeuvring, fluid-structure interaction etc.).

Under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bettar Ould el Moctar, about 25 scientists are working on these research projects.


Chair of Mechatronics, University of Duisburg-Essen

Since the introduction of the term “mechatronics” about 30 years ago, mechatronics has meanwhile developed into a discipline of the engineering sciences that is very well established both in science and in the industrial environment and can no longer be imagined without. It deals with the interaction of mechanical, electronic and information technology components. The chair at the UDE was founded as early as 1991 and is thus one of the oldest university mechatronics chairs in Germany. Here, a team of about 20 scientists under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Dieter Schramm is primarily concerned with applications in the mobility sector.

Chair of Control and System Dynamics, University of Duisburg-Essen

The Chair of Control and System Dynamics, headed by Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dirk Söffker, represents control and automation technology in the Faculty of Engineering with a focus on mechanical engineering and computer science-oriented tasks.

Argonics GmbH

Argonics GmbH is developing a platform for position and attitude estimation, remote control and semi-automated navigation of inland vessels. The company is drawing on many years of experience from the development and operation of its in-house guidance system (argoTrackPilot), which will be integrated into the test vessel as part of the project and will form the basis for the partially automated journey.

Rhenus PartnerShip GmbH & Co. KG

Rhenus ships are in operation for you on all navigable waterways in Europe. Every year, we transport up to 30 million tons of bulk goods from all relevant freight groups, bulk general cargo such as steel products and containers, as well as plant and equipment. For this purpose, we have a broad network of branches along the most important waterways and hubs. In addition, our bunker and bilge de-oiling vessels provide inland waterway transport services in Europe.

Institute of Automatic Control, RWTH Aachen University

The Institute Automatic Control (IRT), under the direction of Univ. -prof. Dr. -Ing. Dirk Abel has represented control and automation engineering with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at RWTH Aachen University since 1957. The institute sees itself as a representative of control theory in the diverse application areas of control and automation technology. Therefore, it is characterized by methodological work and is strongly application-oriented. Methodological focal points include model-based predictive control, robust control methods, the consideration of digitally networked control systems, sensor fusion for precise and robust navigation, and machine-learning approaches in perception systems and control engineering.

Ingenieurbüro Kauppert


in - innovative navigation GmbH

The broad expertise and experience of in-innovative navigation give you the security of receiving a powerful and reliable solution.


Numerous systems from in-innovative navigation have been operating successfully for many years and are regularly adapted to the latest requirements.

Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute

The Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) is the main provider of science and technology services to the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) and the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV) with regard to all hydraulic engineering issues associated with the building, operation and maintenance of Germany’s federal waterways. In this function, the BAW is Germany’s scientific competence centre for waterways engineering. The BAW provides both policy advice for the BMDV and project advice for the WSV. An important part of the BAW’s work is to ensure that Germany’s federal waterways fulfil ever more stringent technical specifications, ecological requirements and meet increasing traffic demands. The BAW plays a crucial role here in securing a sustainable future for waterways as an important mode of transport in Germany.