Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk has partnered with autonomous technology start-up Sea Machines Robotics to trial its AI-powered perception and situational awareness technology on board an ice-class container ship.
Sea Machines’ solution uses advanced sensors to collect a continuous stream of data from a vessel’s surrounding environment, which is processed by perception software that can track and identify potential conflicts. The resulting intelligence is then displayed in the wheelhouse for crew members to access.
According to a statement from Sea Machines, the Maersk deal marks the first time that computer vision, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and perception software will be deployed on a container vessel to enhance transit operations.
Maersk aims to use the technology to assist seafarers by removing the line of sight restriction from the bridge and provide the operating blueprint for a future autonomous collision avoidance system.
“For this containership situational awareness program, we aim to prove the technology increases our safety, efficiency, and reliability,” explains P. Michael A. Rodey, senior innovation manager, A.P. Moller-Maersk. “Autonomous vessels are not an end goal for Maersk nor are unmanned vessels, what is more of interest is the technology along the journey and the value it brings.”