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Testing the Future of Marine Autonomy

Testing the Future of Marine Autonomy

Have you ever wondered if self-driving technology can extend beyond cars?

At Hipert, we believe that the future of transportation should include all modes of travel, including marine vehicles. That’s why we’re proud to introduce our latest prototype: the self-driving catamaran.


On Wednesday, the Hipert team went to Nemi, a picturesque town in Lazio located on the homonymous lake. During these two days, we had the opportunity to test our self-driving catamaran with our colleagues at Spin Italia.

We’re not just working on the most advanced technologies of today and tomorrow, but also living them. It’s not every day you get to test a self-driving catamaran, yet working in our company means always having to deal with incredible autonomous innovations.

It was 09:00 in the morning when we arrived at our colleagues at Spin Italia. After collecting the needed electronics we moved to Nemi. Our aim for the morning was to test the follow-GPS function: which consists of following a GPS route autonomously. 

During the test, we had a communication problem with the remote control, and therefore the day did not end well, the test failed.

The next day, after analyzing the problems more calmly, we found the solution and we were able to perform the test with a maximum speed of up to 4.85 knots. (2.5 m/s).

Thursday morning we went again to the beautiful setting of Lake Nemi and got to work. This time we had in mind to use a higher speed for the test. And in fact, the first path-tracking test went well and ended positively.

In the afternoon we moved on to testing the obstacle avoidance function, which turned out to be more challenging than expected: the ripples in the lake water disturbed the Lidar and led to a negative test result. 

Throughout the testing, we were able to capture stunning photos and videos of the catamaran in manual control mode, showcasing its sleek design and impressive performance.

But that’s not all. In our next round of testing, we plan to showcase even more impressive features of our self-driving catamaran, including the virtual anchor tool and automatic docking capabilities. The virtual anchor mimics the behavior of the physical anchor: we indicate to the catamaran a position to hold and the catamaran operates the truster to maintain this position. You will be interested in seeing it!

Another feature we would like to try next time is automatic docking. With the automatic docking feature, the catamaran identifies a target and then it is able to get there and approach alongside the target.

It’s important to keep in mind that this was only a first test field and we have learned so much from this experience. After completing the drone footage we took the sensors off the catamaran and said goodbye to this amazing place. 

At Hipert, we’re committed to advancing the future of autonomous technology across land, air, and water. We’re excited to share our progress with our customers, engineers, and competitors who share our passion for innovation.

Stay tuned to Hipert magazine for updates on our self-driving catamaran and other exciting developments in AI and marine autonomy.

We can’t wait to take you along for the ride!