KVH Industries announced that it has sold its maritime training business, the Videotel group of companies, to an affiliate of Oakley Capital for a base purchase price of $90 million. The sale was completed immediately upon execution of definitive agreements. The company will invest in the development and commercialization of our photonic integrated chip technology for use in autonomous vehicles and other commercial and military platforms.
An autonomous boat has successfully conducted a cargo run from the UK to Belgium. The 12m-long SEA-KIT Maxlimer sailed from West Mersea to Oostende on May 6, carrying a box of oysters. In order to navigate safely in one of the busiest shipping lanes, it relied in various technologies. The sail lasted a total of 22 hours, as the ship can move slowly at only a few knots.
MPA Singapore warned that it will test an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. The operation will take place north of Small Craft Anchorage ‘A’. The testing will occur from 13 May 2019 to 17 May 2019. A safety boat will also be in attendance at all times to warn and re-direct craft in the vicinity to keep clear of the working area.
As automation is becoming an integral part of everyday life, the shipping industry makes no exception. Mr. Dimitrios Lyrakos, Chief Executive Officer, ASCOT Consulting LTD, describes how automation will affect the maritime sector, saying that the number of seafarers will decline, but these changes will create new job opportunities as well.
Marine-i, the EU funded program set up to boost marine innovation in Cornwall, awarded Submarine Technology Ltd (STL), a specialist marine technology company, with a grant to proceed with the construction of a futuristic robotic arm. The arm is a ship-based multi-axis robotic arm for autonomous operations.
Artificial intelligence and automation will improve the human’s place in the near future. Mainly, Jeremy Bogaisky, Deputy Editor at Forbes, quotes that autonomous and remote-control shipping is sure to decrease cost of consumer goods and enhance safety for passenger ferries and cruise liners.
Yanmar is developing technologies for robotic boats and auto-docking, technologies that are expected to see service in operations in dangerous waters, maritime surveys, or smart fisheries. The autonomous piloting technology involved in the robotic boat was developed into an auto-docking system that can be integrated into fishing vessels or marine pleasure craft. This technology is not just for commercial vessels, but may be integrated into Yanmar vessels to reduce the hassle of docking and make boating a more enjoyable experience.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) accomplished a full autonomous navigation of Sea Hunter, medium displacement unmanned surface vessel. Sea Hunter autonomously navigated from San Diego to Pears Harbor, Hawaii and returned without crew onboard, expect few boardings by personnel from an escort vessel to check electrical and propulsion systems.
As with maritime or road transport, technological developments about automated navigation come under scrutiny by the inland navigation sector. During its meeting in December, the CCNR adopted a first international definition of levels of automation in inland navigation. This definition aims to lead to a clearer understanding of automated navigation as a whole.
Finland will allow remote pilotage subject to authorisation in public channels and in the Saimaa Canal lease area, that have been marked as routes requiring pilotage. The Pilotage Act will now allow the pilot to perform his/her duties somewhere else than onboard the vessel. Finland proposed on 17 January 2019 that the Pilotage Act be adopted and is now expected to enter into force on 1 February 2019.
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