Wärtsilä SmartDock assists ship manoeuvres, dockings and routes between ports Combining machine learning, IoT, weather and port information will lead to smart voyage optimisation in real-time, reducing fuel consumption and emissions

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SwissCognitiveArtificial intelligence (AI) is filtering into the latest e-navigation technology to improve voyage planning and navigational safety, making ship navigation more intelligent without removing the human element entirely from the bridge.

Instead, AI is being adopted for e-navigation to reduce the administrative burden on bridge teams, enabling officers to increase their focus on safe navigation.

A new generation of ship navigation systems is combining internet-of-things (IoT) technology, machine learning and cloud computing to advise navigators on the ocean environment, potential hazards, ship performance and surrounding vessels. All this is enveloped into a cyber-secure system for enhanced route planning and voyage execution.

Wärtsilä subsidiary Transas has introduced AI with machine learning and hazard identification into its new Navi-Planner voyage planning and optimisation solution. This uses AI to auto-create safe navigation routes using the latest electronic navigational charts (ENCs) and notices to mariners. These routes are then optimised against weather forecasts and potential navigation hazards.

“The Wärtsilä Navi-Planner is a safe, type-approved, cyber-secure system that addresses complete voyage planning and optimisation needs in a single service,” says Wärtsilä’s Transas business unit managing director Torsten Buessow.

“It improves safety and provides fleet operators and crew with higher-level situational awareness.”

All ENCs within Navi-Planner are automatically updated with the latest navigation notices, cutting this time-consuming task from bridge operations.

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It also benefits fleet managers as onshore operators can remotely monitor their vessels in real-time and advise seafarers on adverse navigation. Navi-Planner records navigational near misses and supports incident investigation and digital information playback.

“We are utilising the latest technologies, including connectivity, machine learning, IoT, cloud computing and cyber security measures”

Mr Buessow says adding digitalisation technologies improves workflows on ships and shore offices. “We are utilising the latest technologies, including connectivity, machine learning, IoT, cloud computing and cyber security measures to provide tangible improvements to the work of our customers,” he says.

Wärtsilä will continue to add functionality to Navi-Planner to enable navigators to optimise routes in terms of port arrivals and to assist shipping companies to stay a step ahead of environmental regulations.

In the future more information, such as port arrival data, could be seamlessly incorporated into the voyage plans. Based on a recommended time of arrival, Navi-Planner will be able to dynamically adjust the route and speed of a vessel’s approach to a port for a just-in-time arrival.

Navi-Planner will use accurate speed information and connectivity with ports to optimise voyages in smarter ways, so shipowners can lower CO2 emissions and reduce fuel consumption without impacting navigation safety.

Mr Buessow anticipates that smart systems will be deployed on vessels to provide automated voyage optimisation in real-time. Shipowners can retrofit their vessels with the latest Navi-Planner ECDIS to achieve these operational benefits.[…]

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