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MOL Trials 360 Birds-Eye-View Tugboat

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Japanese carrier Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has explored the potential of bird’s eye view monitoring technology in tugboat operations after initiating a joint project with Oki Electric Industry Corporation (Oki).

In a statement, MOL said the initiative focused specifically on Oki’s ‘FlyingView’ bird’s-eye view monitoring system and its ability to monitor a 360 field of view around a tugboat.

As a tugboat approaches a large containership, only a small part of the vessel’s hull can be seen from the tugboat’s bridge, and it, therefore, relies on radio instructions from the pilot onboard the target vessel.   

The ‘FlyingView’ experiment included setting four fish-eye cameras on the vessel’s mast and a digital compositing system and display in the bridge.

This allowed the captain to objectively observe conditions around the tugboat in real-time, which also made it possible for the operator to recognize surrounding situations.

Furthermore, the boat can also instinctively grasp its distance from surrounding obstacles and other vessels, which leads to a cut in the risk of collision and safer berthing operations.

The project is part of a wider initiative from MOL called ‘Focus Eye’, which is aimed at making marine operations safer and more efficient through the development of new technologies.

It already uses augmented reality (AR) in its AR Navigation System, the launching of which Port Technology reported in April 2019.

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