Singapore collaboration to develop autonomous vessels

Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS) to jointly develop autonomous vessels for a variety of applications including harbour operations such as channelling, berthing, mooring and towing operations.

The development and application of remote or autonomous vessels could potentially automate operations and enhance safety and productivity of ports.

“Our partnership with Keppel O&M and NUS TCOMS allows us to test the operations of autonomous vessels such as harbour tugs in our port waters as well as the interface between such vessels and our future vessel traffic management systems. As one of the world’s busiest ports, Singapore provides an excellent test-bed for autonomous systems which will have to meet the highest standards of safety and security,” said Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA.

Keppel will use its remote vessel monitoring and analytics programme, VesselCareTM, as the base platform in the initial phase to develop autonomous vessels. VesselCareTM is able to perform data consolidation, condition based monitoring and maintenance, mining and analytics of vessels.

During the advanced stages of monitoring and controlling a vessel, the project will develop a digital twin of the tug which will simulate vessel behaviour to help optimise the vessel operations using data analytics and visualisation tools. TCOMS will provide expertise in coupled physical-numerical modelling and simulation to evolve solutions that improve on the predictability and control of the behaviour and response of the vessel.

“As a leader in the design and construction of specialised vessels, we have been developing advanced remote monitoring and analytics systems for vessels. We are pleased to partner MPA and TCOMS to take the next step in developing fully autonomous vessels. The industry is keen to explore the commercial use of autonomous vessels as there are multiple safety, efficiency and cost benefits. This partnership demonstrates Keppel O&M’s commitment to be at the forefront of research and provide the latest cutting-edge technologies to our customers,” said Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.
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