Technology group Wärtsilä has partnered up with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and PSA Marine on a project to develop a harbor tug with autonomous navigation.
Entitled Wärtsilä IntelliTug, this is the first project to be co-created at the Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre opened yesterday in Singapore.
As informed, the vessel will be capable of performing a range of routine missions designed to further improve tug safety and efficiencies while reducing operator workload and pressures in one of the world’s most demanding harbor environments.
The IntelliTug project will involve a combination of technologies, innovations and capabilities within Wärtsilä’s portfolio to generate a tailored solution for Singapore’s unique situation. It is expected to provide a notable contribution to regional sustainability goals. This will include a new-to-market near-field wideband radar and real-time video analytics, integrated with a light-weight human-centric mission control system to supervise the close quarters and alert users on collision avoidance using adaptive, dynamic route planning capabilities.
In 2019, together with MPA and PSA Marine, Wärtsilä will test-bed the IntelliTug concept on an existing tugboat in Singapore’s actual operational port.
“We are always scouting for innovative ideas to enhance our Tug Masters’ situational awareness so that they can navigate the busy port waters in Singapore more safely. To achieve this objective, we have teamed up with MPA and Wärtsilä to explore and test-bed new technologies, turning ideas into reality,” Peter Chew, Managing Director of PSA Marine, said.
“In contrast to many existing conceptual ideas in the industry, with IntelliTug we are creating a technology that will find a real application in the commercial maritime market. We want to help the industry improve by leveraging the use of automation technologies on ships to boost safety and efficiency, while at the same time augmenting the human’s role within the loop,” Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä Corporation, commented.
“This solution will empower Tug Masters by actively assisting the crew in different situations, allowing them to focus on critical tug operations whilst dynamically maintaining safe distances during navigation and preventing potential collisions. It will also give them additional decision-making support and the ability to work with their colleagues ashore via real time data connection,” Ryan added.
Wärtsilä Acceleration Centre promotes innovation and collaboration with industry, academia, and local partners to strengthen and develop Singapore’s maritime ecosystem. The opening marks a key milestone following the agreement signed between MPA and Wärtsilä in April 2018 to collaborate in areas of intelligent vessels, connected smart port operations, cyber-physical security, and digital acceleration with start-ups.
Wärtsilä will also address cybersecurity challenges in connected maritime operations by launching its Maritime Cyber Centre of Excellence as part of the Singapore Acceleration Centre.