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Wednesday, April 25, 2018 

A.P. Moller-Maersk will trial Sea Machines Robotics‘ perception and situational awareness technology aboard ice-class containership Winter Palace.

The agreement is significant in that it represents the first-use of “computer vision” based on Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and perception software on a container vessel to augment transit operations.

Similar to Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) commonly found in automobiles – which alerts drivers of roadway hazards and prevent accidents – Sea Machines’ system uses advanced sensors to collect a continuous stream of information from a vessel’s environmental surroundings, identify and track potential conflicts, and efficiently display the knowledge in the wheelhouse. The system facilitates safer and more efficient maritime operations.

Maersk’s goal of the collaboration is to prove the technology aids the seafarers, can remove the line of sight restriction from the bridge, and provides the infrastructure for a future autonomous collision avoidance system.

“This partnership with Maersk marks our first foray into the shipping sector and allows us to positively contribute towards the operator’s technology goals. Our mission is to propel the maritime industry forward with 21st century technology,” explained Michael Johnson, founder and CEO of Boston-based Sea Machines.

P. Michael A. Rodey, Senior Innovation Manager, A.P. Moller-Maersk, said: “Our team first met Sea Machines around three years ago when they were developing the concepts of their first autonomous systems, and already we were impressed with their technical capability, planned product path, and practical understanding of the future needs of the marine market.

“For this containership situational awareness programme, we aim to prove the technology increases our safety, efficiency and reliability. Autonomous vessels are not an end goal for Maersk nor is unmanned vessels; what is more of interest is the technology along the journey and the value it brings.”

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