The Port of Rotterdam Authority has announced it will research the potential for autonomous navigation by converting a patrol vessel into a ‘floating lab’.
The project will also include a collaboration with virtual simulation start-up Captain AI, and will see an RPA3 – the proposed floating lab – equipped with cameras, sensors and measurement technologies in order to obtain data on water conditions and the vessel’s operational performance.
Its ability to spot potential hazards will also be tested. The cameras, for example, will be used to automatically inspect quay walls and detect objects in the water.
Water and land-based sensors will also be used to develop a network and smart infrastructure as part of the port’s wider research into the potential for smart technologies in shipping operations.
Ronald Paul, Port of Rotterdam Authority Chief Operations Officer (COO), commented: ‘The Port of Rotterdam Authority is continuously examining how our port can be even safer, more efficient and better.
“By cooperating with other parties, including by making our data available, we aim to promote the development of new technologies and investigate the impact of these on the port and port facilities.
“We expect the arrival of autonomous navigation to further increase the safety and accessibility of the Port of Rotterdam and, moreover, it will be an effective aid for skippers and shipping traffic controllers.
“That is why the Port of Rotterdam Authority aims to test this application, which has already been used in aviation for many years, together with other parties.”