10 Emerging Technology Investments for 2023 – #2: Remote-Controlled Tugboats

This company is helping to build both the technologies and regulations behind remote-controlled and autonomous ports of the future.

Andrew Willis 15 February, 2023 | 4:28AM
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Andrew Willis: In the recent “10 for 2023” report from Sustainalytics, ten companies are featured for their work on six high-tech breakthroughs that have both significant ESG and equity market implications. To do this, authors Martin Vezér and Poulomi Sengupta combed through Pitchbook and Sustainalytics to find the biggest deals in the emerging technology space.

Last week, we introduced the first technological breakthrough in the report with autonomous shipping, and the pioneering work of Norwegian conglomerate, Kongsberg (NSKFF) in the space with its electric and autonomous cargo ship.

But what about multiple boats in close quarters? Are we ready for robotic harbours? The second company in the report’s autonomous shipping category, automation giant ABB (ABB), is working towards that, with work on necessary regulatory frameworks - and remote control capabilities for tugboats!

In April 2021, ABB helped operate South Asia’s first remote joystick control of a tugboat in the Port of Singapore – which can improve efficiency and reduce the human cost of operations by not requiring a captain on the deck of the boat. With this incentive, ABB has been working with regulators like the International Maritime Organization to build out a framework for the automated shipping industry – because we’ll probably need it soon.

Sector director Denise Moline says automation is the fastest-growing category in the industrial space, and ABB has an enviable base of robotics and automation customers. This wide-moat company aims to make the seas safer and more sustainable, but what about the skies? Next week, we’ll look at a company behind the electrification of flight.

For Morningstar, I’m Andrew Willis.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
ABB Ltd ADR52.24 USD0.08Rating

About Author

Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis  is Senior Editor at Morningstar Canada. He previously produced content for Fidelity Investments and finance industry events for Euromoney Institutional Investor and has written in the past for Thomson Reuters and CNN. Follow him on Twitter @Andrew_M_Willis.

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