The ACTIVE project aimed to define a new type of river transport characterised by low investment and operating costs, encouraging the relaunch of inland navigation.
The project combined the study of hull shape with innovative fluid-dynamic systems ("air cushion"), as well as an innovative propulsion system. The possibility of using natural gas in the liquid or compressed gaseous state as fuel was also taken into consideration.
The technology significantly reduced resistance to motion and consequently the installed power, costs and emissions. A further reduction in installed power was achieved by the use of an innovative propulsion system, "Bivortix", based on multi-blade cycloidal thrusters and characterised by higher efficiency than other propulsion systems available on the market. The generation of hydrodynamic flows by the innovative propulsion systems was also more respectful of the seabed.