Fugro, AD Ports forge ties on remote and autonomous technologies

Geo-data specialist Fugro has signed a collaborative agreement with UAE-based port operator Abu Dhabi Ports (AD Ports) that sets out combined goals to utilise remote and autonomous technologies in the region.

Image credit: Fugro

Whilst the agreement formalises the partnership, the companies have been working together since March 2022 ahead of the arrival of the region’s first uncrewed surface vessel (USV), the Fugro Pegasus. The USV was recently welcomed into the UAE and will be stationed at Al Mirfa Port, Abu Dhabi.

The company launched this new generation of USVs in the European market at the end of last year. The first project began in the Netherlands.

The agreement addresses strategic pillars that Fugro and AD Ports Group will tackle together to make Fugro’s USV technologies a successful addition to the region. These include jointly developing procedures for the use and implementation of USVs in accordance with the requirements of the UAE, to establish an approved remote and autonomous testing site for USVs, to create an industry-compliant training programme for Emirati nationals and international mariners, covering the operation of USVs or Marine Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).

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Fugro is working on the development and deployment of remote and autonomous solutions by establishing a global network of remote operations centres and autonomous vehicles that support the maritime industry.

The duo said that by bringing together Fugro’s industry knowledge and AD Ports Group’s expertise, the partnership will create a platform to implement remote and autonomous technology, and to create guidelines that will ensure the UAE is prepared to welcome, and benefit from, the use of latest industry advancements.

“AD Ports Group is committed to innovating and improving its services, deploying advanced technologies and automation across our operations to drive improvements and greater efficiency. Through strategic collaborations, AD Ports Group brought the world’s first fully uncrewed autonomous commercial marine tugs, as well as the Middle East’s first terminal with an autonomous port truck system, to the UAE,” Captain Mohamed Al Yahyaei, Chief Harbour Master, AD Ports Group said.

By signing this new agreement with Fugro, we are expanding the range of remote and autonomous technologies available for the maritime sector, as we strive to build a safer, more sustainable and more impactful future.”