The Top 10 Maritime Stories for 2018
Choosing the ‘top stories of 2018’ was, this year, a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way. Read on to find out how and why.Autonomous Vessels: Ready or Not, Here They ComeFuturistic, remote-controlled autonomous marine vehicles aren’t coming. They are here. As the pace of change quickens, autonomous vessels are already providing service and value on the water.
Metal Shark to Showcase New Products in New Orleans
Shipbuilder Metal Shark will be showcasing an array of new products and technology at this year’s International Workboat Show in New Orleans.Perhaps most notably, Metal Shark has selected this year’s Workboat Show to give the public it’s first look at the U.S. Navy’s newest patrol boat, the imposing “40 PB.”“In 2016, the Navy’s PBX Industry Day was one of most talked-about events of the Workboat Show,” said Stickles. “At last year’s show, the award of the contract to Metal Shark following the Navy’s multi-year selection process had just been announced…
Work‘bots’: Autonomous Vessels Arrive
The near-shore and inland workboat fleet is at the leading edge for autonomous vessel developmentWhile the advent of autonomous workboats are not exactly mainstream, you better believe that in the not-too-distant future they will be a reality on waterways in and around the U.S. Today there remain more questions than answers, particularly on the legal, logistics and insurance side of the coin. But the technology is evolving at record pace, providing many in the industry with mixed emotions. Excitement. Controversy. Curiosity. Skepticism.
INSIGHTS: Thomas S. Chance, Chief Executive Officer, ASV Global
Thomas Chance founded C & C Technologies in his home in 1992. Today C & C is a global oil field surveying and mapping company with more than 550 employees in ten offices worldwide. C & C was the first company in the world to offer autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) survey services to the oil industry and remains a world leader in the field. In April of 2015, he sold C & C Technologies to Oceaneering International. Complementing the autonomous underwater vehicle business, Mr. Chance started Autonomous Surface Vehicles, Ltd., or ASV, in 2010.
Sea Machines Rolls Out Autonomous Vessel Tech
Sea Machines Robotics, a Boston-based developer of autonomous technology for marine vessels, said its introductory line of intelligent command and control systems has successfully completed product sea trials.The two new products, SM300 and SM200, unlock task-driven, computer-guided vessel operations, bringing advanced autonomy within reach for small- and large-scale operators, the company said. Already in use in North America and Europe, Sea Machines' products for offshore commercial…
Sea Machines Moves to Larger, Waterfront Location in Germany
U.S. based Sea Machines announced that it has moved its team in Hamburg, Germany to a larger waterfront work space in the Hammerbrook area.The company said the move supports growing in interest in its autonomous controls and advanced perception technology in European markets ahead of an upcoming product release. The new location more than triples the space Sea Machines had previously and provides dockage for the company's test vessels. The space also accommodates the locally expanding team…
Metal Shark, ASV Global Roll Out Autonomous Vessels
U.S. shipbuilder Metal Shark has joined forces with autonomous vessel technology developer ASV Global to introduce a range of high-tech autonomous vessels.The Louisiana based shipbuilder said it is now offering autonomous technology called Sharktech on its entire portfolio of custom configurable vessels for military, law enforcement, fire rescue and the full spectrum of applicable commercial markets, which range from 16’ to over 300’ in aluminum, steel and composite.“The industry has watched and waited as autonomous technology has matured from its fledgling stages…
Spill Prevention & Response: Old Lessons, New Challenges
Emerging spill response trends fit into two big categories: technology and a combination of economic and social forces. Both will shape what comes next.Florida’s stunning Tampa Bay stands out as exactly the kind of place where you have to think about hazardous materials emergencies. It was 25 years ago, on August 10, 1993, that a freighter collided with two barges near the entrance of Tampa Bay, causing a fire and spilling over 32,000 gallons of jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline and about 330,000 gallons of heavy fuel, devastating beaches, wildlife and habitat.
Maersk to Trial AI-powered Situational Awareness Technology
Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk will be the first in the world to trial artificial intelligence (AI) powered perception and situational awareness technology on a containership.Under a deal signed with Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics, Maersk will install computer vision, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and perception software aboard one of its new-build Winter Palace ice-class containerships.Sea Machines said its solution uses AI to improve at-sea situational awareness…
Danish Projects Boost Maritime Digitalization
Digital nautical charts and better communication at sea are some of the concrete solutions that can boost the development of the maritime sector. Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen, is pleased with the prospects of more digital cooperation across the EU when the results of the digitalization project are being presented at a conference in Copenhagen today and tomorrow. Representatives from the maritime sector are gathered today for the final conference of the digitalization project EfficienSea2.
Sea Machines Opens Office in Hamburg
Boston-based developer of autonomous vessel technology Sea Machines Robotics announced it will open an office in Hamburg, Germany in a move aimed at better access to European-based customers, innovators and investors. The company said its second office will provide convenient access to several key locations and will support growing demand for engineering, sales and marketing across Europe. Sea Machines founder and CEO Michael Johnson said the company is growing as demand for autonomous technology is increasing.
NL Networks, Portcall.com win Wärtsilä Start-up Challenge
The first Wärtsilä SparkUp Challenge, an initiative to find innovative start-ups to develop ideas for the smart shipping value chain, has been won by KNL Networks and Portcall.com. The prize for the winners is a four-month collaboration and co-creation in the Wärtsilä Digital Acceleration Centre (DAC) beginning in March. In addition, they will receive a capital grant of 50,000 euros. “We are extremely delighted and proud to announce these winners. This is an amazing opportunity for both us and the winners.
Yara Birkeland Model Commences Testing
A six meter long, 2.4 ton model of the final design of the autonomous and fully electric container vessel Yara Birkeland was revealed as testing commenced at SINTEF Ocean’s 80 meter test tank facility in Trondheim, September 28, 2017. It was also revealed that ENOVA, a Norwegian government enterprise responsible for promotion of environmentally friendly production and consumption of energy will support the project with a NOK 133 million ($16.7 million) financial contribution.
ST Engineering Invests In Cyber Security
Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) announced that its Corporate Venture Capital unit, ST Engineering Ventures Pte Ltd (ST Engineering Ventures) has made a Series B investment of $5.79m for a minority interest in Janus Technologies, Inc., an endpoint cyber security provider based in California. “This is the first investment by our Corporate Venture Capital unit in companies with cutting edge technologies or breakthrough innovations,” said Vincent Chong, President & CEO of ST Engineering. The Group has identified cyber security, along with robotics, autonomous technology, and data analytics as strategic capabilities that it will invest in to create long term value and growth.
UK Partners to Launch Autonomous Vessels Testing Service
The U.K.'s first maritime autonomous systems testing service is set to launch later this year. BAE Systems said it has been awarded £457,000 (approximately $594,700) in grant funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to design and deliver the U.K.’s first dedicated autonomous systems testing service. Based around Portsmouth, Southampton and the South East of the Isle of Wight, BAE Systems will work with ASV Global (ASV), Blue Bear Systems Research (Blue Bear)…
Shipping’s ‘Perfect Storm’ is Brewing -Allianz
Large shipping losses have declined by 50 percent over the past decade, mostly driven by the development of a more robust safety environment by ship owners, according to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) fifth annual Safety & Shipping Review 2017. In 2016 there were 85 total shipping losses reported, down 16 percent from 101 a year earlier. The number of shipping incidents declined slightly year-on-year by 4 percent with 2,611 reported, according to the review, which analyzes reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons.
Denmark Studies Autonomous Shipping
In the future, autonomous ships may have a central role to play in Denmark. A pre-analysis made by the Danish Technological University (DTU) and the Danish Maritime Authority points to the need to develop technological solutions. As the entire transport sector vigorously strives to develop autonomous solutions, many developments have come a long way, especially for cars and trucks. The shipping industry too will see more new autonomous technology solutions, just as drone technology will become more widespread. The Danish Maritime Authority has therefore cooperated with the DTU to consider the development potential of autonomous ships in more detail. “Blue Denmark must – just as the rest of the Danish business sector – be frontrunners within technological developments.
Test Bed for Autonomous Shipping Opens in Norway
An extensive area of the Trondheimsfjord in Northern Norway was designated as an official test bed for autonomous shipping by the Norwegian Coastal Authority (NCA), during a special event in Trondheim, Norway on Friday, September 30th 2016. As potentially the first coastal area in the world officially dedicated to the development of technology for autonomous ships, the new test bed is set to become a vital facility for the future of shipping. Norwegian maritime technology company…
Thales to Take Key Role in 'Exercise Unmanned Warrior'
Thales is set to play a key role in a major U.K. Royal Navy exercise later this year to understand how unmanned systems might add real innovative operational capability in a military maritime environment. Exercise Unmanned Warrior will bring together the Royal Navy and 40 organizations from defense, industry and academia in October, representing the largest exercise of its kind. More than 50 vehicles, sensors and systems from across defense and industry will be deployed the Ministry of Defense exercise centered around the U.K. coast of Scotland and West Wales.
Cyber World: Safer Seas via Phantom Ships
Are we that far away from phantom fully autonomous vessels plying the world’s seas? Not according to many in the know. Many predict by 2020 that we will see this type of ship with a limited crew in smaller applications such as the marine highway short haul scenarios, local ferry service such as the Staten Island ferry and offshore supply boats in the Gulf of Mexico. Phantom/drone unmanned ships reportedly would be safer, cheaper and less polluting for an industry that carries approximately 90 percent of the world trade. However as with aircraft drones and on the horizon driverless auto’s, we must be concerned with regulatory and safety issues.
ASV Wins Maritime Autonomy R&D Funding
ASV Ltd, in partnership with nine other commercial and research organisations, have been awarded funding by Innovate UK to undertake in excess of £3million worth of research and development for Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS). Three separate projects involving ASV will look to address different areas covering the wide spectrum of activities concerning Maritime Autonomous Systems. These include software and communications, operations and regulations, autonomous vehicle interaction and launch and recovery.
Autonomous Technology for Offshore Wind Farm
ASV Ltd in association with Planet Ocean Ltd, have received funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind initiative to investigate how the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASVs) could reduce the costs of offshore wind farm support. The project will look at using ASVs to reduce the cost of tasks related to the construction, operation and maintenance (O&M) of offshore wind farms. Together ASV and Planet Ocean will look at scour monitoring, cable position tracking, wave and meteorological monitoring, current profile monitoring and underwater noise monitoring.
St Engineering's Land Systems Arm Inject Capital in Brazil
Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) announced today that SDG Kinetics Pte. Ltd. (SDGK) and Autonomous Technology Pte Ltd (ATPL), wholly owned subsidiaries of its land systems arm, Singapore Technologies Kinetics Ltd (ST Kinetics), have injected BRL5,499,450 (approximately S$3.2m) and BRL550 (approximately S$318) respectively into the capital of LeeBoy Brazil Equipamentos De Construção Ltda. (LeeBoy Brazil), as working capital for LeeBoy Brazil’s operations in Brazil. This equity injection increases SDGK and ATPL’s total investment in LeeBoy Brazil to BRL28.5m (approximately S$15.7m). ST Kinetics has correspondingly injected approximately S$3.2m into the capital of SDGK as funding for SDGK’s capital injection into LeeBoy Brazil.