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DNV’s SAFEMATE showing the way for autonomous shipping

Date: 15 Nov 2022 Author: Chief Editor

Plotting a safe course using fully automated navigation systems remains a major obstacle that has to be overcome on the route to autonomous shipping. The SAFE Maritime Autonomous Technology (SAFEMATE) research project, run by DNV and their industry partners, is working on a very promising system solution.

🎤 “While autonomous technology is available, the biggest challenge is building trust in automated systems that can function safely in many different maritime situations without human intervention,” explains DNV’s SAFEMATE Project Manager Grunde Løvoll.

🎯 SAFEMATE is therefore focused on evolving a decision support system for safe navigation that can detect obstacles and threats in the marine environment, interpret this information and communicate a routing solution to the on-board operator. The system is designed to give enhanced situational awareness for object detection and collision avoidance, based on images and data gathered from cameras, sensors, radar, and the vessel’s AIS, with a human in the loop.

A prototype system developed by project partner Kongsberg Maritime is now being tested in a pilot project on the operational ferry Bastø VI serving the route between Moss and Horten in Norway. This ferry service is run by Torghatten unit Bastø Fosen, which is also participating in the three-year research programme, along with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

🎤 “The SAFEMATE project is an important proving ground for newly developed technology and processes that will ultimately be able to support safe automated navigation. Torghatten is taking a proactive role to facilitate adoption of this technology as part of its efforts to achieve autonomous shipping,” says Torghatten’s Chief Technology Officer Jan-Egil Wagnild.

🎤 “Basically, we are introducing an electronic navigator with automated functionality to support the human navigator on board by increasing knowledge and awareness of the marine environment, as well as providing routing advice,” explains Kongsberg Maritime’s Product Director for Bridge Systems, Børre Flaglien.

DNV’s role in the joint industry project is to provide an assurance and verification framework for system testing and development, as well as to further develop class rules and standards for such automated systems that are still in gestation.

📃📷 Source: DNV