Start-up company Orca AI has raised US$13M to help fund further adoption of its AI-based navigation technology to reduce collision risks
This latest round of finance means Orca AI has raised more than $15.5M to expand its services and geographic reach.
Its AI-based solutions are already being used by shipping, inland towage and port services companies, including Kirby, Ray Car Carriers and NYK. Orca AI provides AI-navigation and vessel tracking systems to support ships in difficult to navigate situations and congested waterways and predicts this has prevented around 4,000 marine incidents per year, reducing injuries, environmental pollution and saving billions of dollars in damages.
Orca AI supplements existing onboard sensors with vision sensors, thermal and low-light cameras, and provides AI-powered algorithms that constantly analyse the environment and alert crew to dangerous situations. The data collected provides risk insights to shipping and insurance companies.
“The maritime industry has come leaps and bounds in recent years, but is still far behind aviation with technological innovations,” said Orca AI co-founder and chief executive Yarden Gross. “Ships deal with increasingly congested waterways, severe weather and low-visibility conditions creating difficult navigation experiences with often expensive cargo,” he said.
“Our solution provides unique insight and data to any ship in the world, helping to reduce these challenging situations and collisions.”
This latest funding round was led by OCV Partners, with principal Zohar Loshitzer joining Orca AI’s board. Mizmaa Ventures and Playfair Capital also provided funding.
Developments in AI deployment were also improved by a partnership between New York, US-headquartered Nautilus Labs and UK-based Datum Electronics.
They will provide shipowners, operators, technical managers and charterers with a comprehensive solution for vessel digitalisation and predictive decision support, combining Nautilus Labs’ AI technology with Datum’s torque and shaft-power measurement hardware.
Nautilus Labs builds vessel-specific performance models based on machine learning to reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and maintenance expenditure. It unifies stakeholders around a single set of real-time vessel performance data on the Nautilus Platform.
This information can be used for fleet optimisation and predictive decision support, said Nautilus Labs senior director for strategy and insights Ross Millard during Riviera Maritime Media’s Vessel Optimisation Webinar Week in March.
He said more information should be available for stakeholders in the sector. “They each have different angles,” he said, adding, “owners control the data, but how do they use the data and share it with other stakeholders?”
Nautilus Labs provides ways for the shipping industry to share information across multiple parties. “As the industry moves forward, there will be incentives to share data to reduce emissions,” said Mr Millard.
To share information, shipping companies need first to collate data, which is where Datum’s equipment come in. It offers maritime sensors and meters to collect high frequency data, including what Datum claims is the only fully modular shaft power meter on the market. Datum’s devices can be moved from vessel to vessel, even when there is a difference in shaft diameter, for accurate measurement of torque, thrust, revolutions and power.
Earlier this week, class society Bureau Veritas said it had successfully proven the concept of deploying its AI technology to detect corrosion during a hull inspection on a bulk carrier by an aerial drone.
AI technologies will be discussed during Riviera Maritime Media’s series of virtual webinars, forums, conferences and technology days in 2021 - use this link for more details and to register on the events page