A consortium of engineering companies, a shipyard and academia has started developing an intelligent navigation assistance (INA) system that could be used for autonomous vessel operations
Groups in Germany and Turkey have commenced the Autoplan project to design, engineer and build an automatic navigation assistance system for planing and semi-planing craft, which could include fast passenger vessels and pilot boats.
Turkish vessel and tugboat builder Uzmar is the project co-ordinator. It is joined in Turkey by OES-Offshore Engineering Solutions, Piri Reis University and Mersin University.
German partners include Friendship Systems, Technical University of Berlin and SVA Potsdam.
These partners intend to design a more efficient and environmentally friendly high-speed planing boat, which is supported by hydrodynamic lift, instead of the hydrostatic lift, or buoyancy, of the majority of ships. Planing vessels include fast ferries, pilot and racing boats and military support vessels.
The first stage of this project involves developing an INA for improving navigational safety. Partners in Autoplan expect this should be able to predict critical situations and adjust navigation of a vessel.
Autoplan will then integrate autonomous systems to increase safety while reducing the impact of the human factor that causes marine accidents.
Once a design is created, there will be several simulations and model tests for validation.
Based on these models and research, an optimised prototype planing vessel will be built and extensive full-scale sea trials will be carried out.
Autoplan is funded by the German federal ministry for economic affairs and energy and Tubitak Turkey.
It will be run in the framework of the MarTera (Maritime and Marine Technologies for a new Era) initiative. This is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
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