Freedom™ Autonomous Vehicle

The Freedom Autonomous Vehicle provides a new level of flexibility and efficiency by combining the features of a ROV and an AUV into one system. Typical tasks include pipeline survey, seabed survey, close visual inspection and light intervention activities.

Freedom™ Autonomous Vehicle

The Freedom ROV provides a new level of flexibility and efficiency by combining the features of a ROV and an AUV into one vehicle. Typical tasks include pipeline survey, seabed survey, close visual inspection and light intervention activities.

Software for Autonomous Vehicles

Oceaneering is developing a next-generation supervisory control software for all types of autonomous vehicles.

Freedom’s control software features recognition of pipeline features including free-spans, depleted anodes, mattress crossings, and anomalies which can trigger sub-missions for further inspection, thus avoiding the requirement for subsequent inspection operations post initial survey.

Freedom is supported by a docking station at the seabed. The vehicle has hybrid functionality that enables it to operate in two modes: remotely piloted, via tether or through-water communications, to provide real-time control, or autonomous mode, which relies on advanced autonomy to complete mission scopes.

Testing and Verification at the Living Lab

Oceaneering established a “Living Lab” in Norway, that is devoted to the development, testing, and verification of the new control software and our next-generation vehicles.

From our Norwegian facility, a vehicle can be launched and controlled from the quayside and navigate to a shore-side obstacle course that includes a subsea docking station, various pipelines, and infrastructure designed to replicate an offshore environment. This setup is used to test that our software works as intended and is qualified for reliability during the course of the development program.

Docking Milestone

In September 2020, Oceaneering successfully docked the Freedom vehicle with Equinor and Blue Logic's Underwater Intervention Drone (UID) Docking Station at our testing facility. The vehicle launched from the quayside and landed while in autonomous mode using a tether only for Wi-Fi feedback. Watch our video below to learn more about the operation.

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Developed and Qualified

Freedom offers low altitude pipeline inspection for pipeline surveys. The vehicle has the ability to track pipelines only 3 m off the seabed to provide higher resolution data. Freedom’s software package offers a heightened level of obstacle detection, autonomous avoidance, and situational awareness. To avoid obstacles, Freedom can replan its route and re-engage with the tracked pipeline.


  • Low altitude pipeline inspection
  • Pipeline Detection
  • Pipeline Acquisition
  • Pipeline Following
  • Pipeline Crossing Detection
  • Freespan Detection
  • Object Detection
  • Know Object Avoidance and CVI
  • Unknown Object Avoidance and GVI
  • Pipeline Crossing Inspection
  • Freespan Inspection


Freedom project begins

May 2019

Commencement of Living Lab software qualifications

January 2020

Freedom vehicle in the Living Lab

June 2020

Freedom in Living Lab untethered with batteries

July 2020

Freedom undergoing software reliability qualification

September 2020

Successful third-party docking station operation

February 2021

Live pipeline survey trials

August 2021

Offshore trials

Q3 2022

Freedom in operation

Freedom™ Resident ROV

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    Contact Us | Freedom™ Autonomous Vehicle

    Company page Since our founding in the early 1960s, Oceaneering has expanded and grown globally to service several industries such as the offshore energy industry, defense, entertainment, material handling, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries. In 1964, Mike Hughes and Johnny Johnson formed a Gulf of Mexico diving company called World Wide Divers. The company grew in response to increasing demand for their services and in 1969 merged with two other diving companies to form Oceaneering International, Inc. To solve the toughest challenges, we do things differently, creatively, and smarter. As your trusted partner, our unmatched experience and truly innovative portfolio of technologies and solutions give us the flexibility to adapt and evolve, regardless of market conditions. Our mission is to solve the unsolvable. We thrive by creating industry-changing technically creative solutions for the most complex operational challenges under water, on land, and in space. Our five core values establish a common culture and demonstrate what is most important for us as a company. Since the beginning, the company has transformed from a small regional diving company into a global provider of engineered products and services. Today, we develop products and services for use throughout the lifecycle of an offshore oilfield, from drilling to decommissioning. We operate the world's premier fleet of work class ROVs. Additionally, we are a leader in offshore oilfield maintenance services, umbilicals, subsea hardware, and tooling. We also serve the aerospace, defense, and theme park industries. Underpinning everything we do, safety is not only the foundation of our core values, but it is vital to our unmatched performance record and company culture. The industries we serve are as diverse as they are complex. Whether we are engineering deepwater umbilicals or developing robotics for aerospace applications, the safety and health of our employees, vendors, and customers is an integral part of our day-to-day business. If we are working, then our responsibility is to be working safely. Since our inception in 1964, we have placed a high value on employee safety—from diving services and subsea inspection to vessel-based installation operations. We have and will continue to evolve not only our health, safety, and environmental (HSE) processes, but those of the industries in which we work. Although we have been fatality-free since 1999, our HSE journey goes beyond statistics. As our portfolio of services has grown, we have continued to prioritize and advance our approach to HSE.