PSA and Wartsila Make Major Autonomous Tug Breakthrough

psa wartsila

PSA Marine and technology group Wartsila have announced a breakthrough in their joint IntelliTug project after the successful installation of a first-of-its-kind Dynamic Positioning (DP) system onboard tug ‘PSA Polaris’ in the Port of Singapore.

The parties said in a statement that trials were being held in real-world conditions at the port and that the current phase of the project implementation will increase safety standards for vessel automation and autonomy.

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The new DP system, also known as the Joystick Manoeuvring System (JMS), enables easier and more intuitive control of the tug’s movement. With the push of a button, the tug master can achieve what the parties call ‘virtual anchoring’ to hold position or maintain the tug’s heading.

This will also form the foundational technology layer for the IntelliTug project and enable digital navigation instructions to be passed to the vessel’s propulsion systems.

Bernard Wong, PSA Marine’s Head of Fleet Management, said the IntelliTug project was about “discovering smarter, safer, and more efficient ways of operating a harbour tug” and that it incorporates human-centric technology, design thinking, and man–machine collaboration. We are on a journey of turning today’s ideas into tomorrow’s reality.”

Paul Kendall, Wartsila’s Director of Sales, Dynamic Positioning, said that safety and productivity were “key areas” that can be improved with the company’s autonomous vessel technology”.

“As we develop and learn from these technologies, Kendall said, “the values we are able to provide to our customers will grow exponentially, providing a very clear path for businesses needing to compete in the new intelligent maritime industry.”

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