New European Project to Develop Smart Navigation Systems for Ships

A consortium of Swedish, Norwegian and German partners has been given the go-ahead for their research and innovation project Prepare Ships that is expected to increase safety and efficiency in shipping.

Illustration; Source: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

The 26-month project, which is scheduled to start in December this year, has been recently granted funding through the European GNSS Agency (GSA).

As explained, the goal of Prepare Ships is to create a positioning solution for smart and connected navigation applications.

Led by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, it will develop a navigation system that foresees the positions of other vessels through machine learning. This would reduce the risk of collisions and enable more efficient navigation.

“We are very pleased to be able to bring together the shipping value chain in this project that uses advanced machine learning,” John Rune Nielsen, Research and Business Development Director at RISE, commented.

One of the main causes of ship collisions today is lack of awareness of the position and intention of other vessels. By being able to predict future positions for vessels in the vicinity with high position accuracy by EGNSS and machine learning and exchange these dynamic predictions with the vessels nearby with VDES, smarter decisions can be made. In addition to reducing the risk of collisions, this allows for more energy-efficient maneuvering of the vessels, which contributes to the reduced environmental impact of shipping, according to RISE.

Apart from RISE, the project also includes Telko from Norway, SAAB from Sweden, ANAVS from Germany, Swedish mapping, cadastral and land registration authority (Lantmäteriet) and is supported by Stena Line (Sweden).

“Prepare Ships will combine technologies supporting officers on manned ships as well as shore-based operators controlling unmanned ships and can compensate for the shortage of experienced marines. The developed product shall also be applicable to other applications requiring high accuracy, highly robust position, also enabling yet unidentified markets,” Pål Hansen, Vice President R&D, Telko, said.