Technological enablements are disrupting the shipping industry. This, in the future, may feel like it happened fast, but behind the scenes, there is a slow, almost quiet but powerful momentum changing little by little the fundamentals of how we do business. Forward thinkers are often tempted to describe edge technologies as if they have been given shape, now ready to provide answers to un-needed needs, but that doesn’t mean that we are not on a path of adaptation and change, argues Mr. Nicolas Mitsotakis, Co-Founder, M2Intelligence.
hips are becoming numbers, management is being concentrated in the hands of the fewer, stake holders are more than ever passive investors, crewing is just an expensive OPEX BUT ships are still metal structures riding through waves, consuming regulated fuel, turning a propeller and moving a village of goods from A to B. All controlled by humans in a super-human environment. Both onboard and ashore.
Inefficiencies, randomness, risk, excessive subjectiveness in decision making without sufficient information at hand, it all results in compromised safety, costs and wasted energy of human resources. Occasionally it feels like office operatives work in parallel to ships’ crews, linked by a constant exchange of liabilities and responsibilities. In a non-efficient industry by nature, our practices often oppose to the streamlining of interests.
And it makes sense. The absence of the means for real time, unfiltered information, combined with the unavailability of useful historical data to review and evaluate, unavoidably leads to about right decisions, and about right results. On top, most of the imposed regulations and systems end up adding to the workload of people rather than the opposite.
Higher standards, combined with ever increasing constraints to attend vessels, often let managers blind, only capable to react to incidents. The accuracy of reports is often insufficient for real root cause analysis and so preventive action in the navigational, technical, safety and environmental areas is not possible.
It will get worse. Ships change hands more frequently than ever. Crew members are often total strangers to employers not to mention to other crew members within the ship. Ships get larger and time is always pushing.
The lack of effective communication between office and ship, the lack of eyes on the ship, has consequences. It costs time and resources in a period that technology and satellite bandwidths allow for direct access to the vessels.
The once “autonomous’ ship in the sense that little did the office know about what was happening onboard, even where the ship was, is now the “autonomous” ship that can be accessed by shore people and is becoming the “autonomous’ ship that is fully controlled remotely. Technology inevitably is here to play a key role.
In M2Intelligence (www.m2intelligence.com), we focus on doing first things first. First, bridge the gap between the office and ship. Via real time video and audio streaming with vessels worldwide/oceanwide, M2i enables constant asset monitoring. Remote surveys, audits, inspections, drills, training, medical assistance and troubleshooting is now made possible. Recording for post incident analysis, corrective actions and training is key.
While operators gain outstanding value by implementing M2i’s core solutions, our company invests in and incorporates edge technology in order to enhance existing services, learn from the data, perform health monitoring and ultimately forecasting.
Our philosophy is to provide reliable, easy to use, cost effective solutions to our clients. Smart features are integral for this.
GVMS (Global Vessel Monitoring Solution) is an end-to-end, enterprise grade, smart, video monitoring solution providing worldwide real-time streaming as well as recording of the vessels. We promote the use of our solutions for safety purposes, to protect individuals’ life and health, for the security of people and assets, incident investigation, training, equipment monitoring, accuracy of statements of facts, weather and operations monitoring, statistical analysis and improvement of procedures. Typically, cameras are installed at the fly-bridge or the bridge wings, the wheel house, the poop deck and the engine room spaces (M/E, A/E’s, ECR, OWS). The system can be extended to cover numerous other areas aboard ships and offers the smartness to support motion detection, stowaways’ detection and notifications, identification of abnormal scenarios onboard via enabled machine vision, image blurring and more. Video feed is made available directly to authorized users’ computers and smartphones via the M2i Android and iOS Apps. The system offers sophisticated compression to minimize satellite connectivity resources required. Overall system security is of the highest standards.
GRAS (Global Remote Assistance Solution) is an end-to-end, enterprise grade, Remote Assistance Solution, enabling Vessel Remote Survey and Auditing, Troubleshooting, Training and Medical Assistance with minimal bandwidth requirements. Shore users are connected to a portable camera and audio streaming device onboard, which carried throughout the ship spaces allows for live viewing and two-way audio communication, even at very loud environments. Access can also be provided to third parties such as specialized service engineers, Class and service vendors in order to offer their services remotely. Remote assistance to the crew members is therefore made possible worldwide/oceanwide.
Wi-Fi network across the vessel is a key enabler for a number of existing and coming solutions, and is fundamental for users to maximize the use cases and benefits of the M2i GRAS system. It is a futureproof investment for every type and size of vessel, for an ever-growing number of wireless applications. Ship side expertise, compliance with regulations, hardware and software reliability and consistency, system expandability and simplicity for the IT departments are key for a successful implementation. M2i solutions utilize machine learning and AI technology for maximizing user experience and systems’ performance. On a hardware level, options allow for cable-less implementations, avoiding expensive and time consuming installations on the ship.
ECDISmart / RADARSmart
The value in monitoring and recording, amongst plentiful information, the location, speed and heading of the vessel as well as the surrounding ships is significant. Effectively, one can now have an ECDIS/RADAR repeater in the office. Evaluating passage plans and performing post analysis for route optimization can result in tangible savings for the company. This market urge has dictated the development of the ECDISsmart and RADARSmart solutions which have demonstrated great potential in a cost effectively way.
It is our philosophy to evolve working with our clients and to effectively address their specific needs. At the same time, we remain one step ahead as we need to inspire and build solutions before their time. We therefore adopt or develop the means, test on the field, ensure compliance with key regulatory bodies and offer cost effective solutions mitigating day to day inefficiencies.
We continuously enhance our solutions, adopt smart elements, add to the functionality of our systems, reduce the bandwidth requirements, simplify the user experience and strive towards reliability and consistency. From time and location stamp, motion detection, smart recording, security and live CITADEL monitoring, off-line mode function, user notifications and alarms, incident recognition, night vision, to crew mapping onboard, Covid-19 measures via thermal cameras, incorporation of artificial intelligence and machine vision technology and more. With a clear vision towards vision/data analytics, we are excited with what is on the pipeline and the tools that industry players will be able to incorporate in their daily operations.
Our Team is building long term relationships with clients and can jointly take over blueprint and customized solutions to cater for specific needs and requirements. We are happy to work together with innovative groups and are continuously building our network in order to share ideas, combine complimentary skills, reach out to human talent, learn from others, inspire resourcefulness and jointly push forward. Please visit our website at www.m2intelligence.com or contact us directly.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.