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Wartsila and PSA complete trials with autonomous tugboat

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Finnish marine technology group Wartsila have successfully completed initial sea trials for the IntelliTug project.

The PSA Polaris, a harbour tug owned and operated by PSA Marine, has been retrofitted with a suite of Wartsila technology to enable autonomous navigation. The project is a collaboration between Wartsila, PSA, Lloyd’s Register and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore (TCOMS), and it is co-funded by MPA’s Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund.

The trials started in September last year and verified the IntelliTug’s capability to avoid a variety of obstacles, including virtual and real-life moving vessels.

The IntelliTug trials are part of MPA’s Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) initiative, which aims to accelerate the industry’s R&D capability in this field and validate new MASS-related concepts of operations and technologies.

“PSA Marine is constantly innovating to redefine the capabilities of our tugs. The achievement seen in the IntelliTug project is a testament that with strong partnership, alignment of purpose and the courage to innovate, ideas can be turned into reality. With the incorporation of feedback and experience from our tug masters, the smart technology developed in the IntelliTug project augments our tug masters’ situational awareness and amplifies their capabilities. We will continue to work closely with the stakeholders and look forward to future developments of the project,” said Peter Chew, managing director of PSA Marine.

Wartsila and PSA Marine will continue development work on the IntelliTug and its systems throughout 2020, working towards continuous deployment of smart capabilities in real-life harbour craft operations to complement and enhance the capabilities and experience of human tug masters.

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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