The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authority ’s (IALA) e-Navigation initiative has stimulated and inspired a number of ambitious research projects and technological developments in the maritime field. The global transportation of goods is not only facing rapidly growing ship dimensions but also increasing industrial off shore activities, limiting the available navigable spaces and concentrating traffic flows, especially in coastal waters and port approaches. Enhanced systems and technical means with added functionalities are under development, providing new opportunities for traffic surveillance and interaction. Integrated Navigation Systems on board modern ships not only support the bridge teams and pilots on board, but also allow for more comprehensive shore-based traffic monitoring, and even allow for the re-thinking of existing regimes and procedures of traffic management. A sophisticated manoeuvring support tool using fast time simulation (FTS) technology will be introduced in this article. The application of this tool for on board support as well as for its potential integration into enhanced shore-based monitoring processes when linked with the ‘Maritime Cloud’ will also be explored. The potential contribution to safer and environmentally-friendly manoeuvring regimes will be discussed and explained by means of a critical case study.
The IMO’s e-Navigation concept has provided the impetus for a range of research projects focusing on the utilisation and integration of new solutions in ship– shore communication and information exchange, providing novel solutions to the challenges facing the industry today. The Accessibility for Shipping, Efficiency Advantages and Sustainability (ACCSEAS) project aims to advance maritime access in the North Sea region by developing intuitive tools to enable seafarers to make safe and effective navigational decisions. The areas of shipping congestion and limitations have been identified, and novel solutions are able to be developed, prototyped and demonstrated in e-Navigation test beds in the North Sea region. The aim is to harmonise maritime information and its exchange and in addition address training provision to support the real-world implementation of the solutions. ACCSEAS works in tandem with the much larger MONALISA project that contributes developments to the ‘Motorways of the Sea’ initiative. This project focussed around ecologically efficient e-Navigation solutions supportive of EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region. The project laid the groundwork for the future international implementation of innovative solutions. The follow-up, MONALISA 2.0, seeks to develop the concept further by the implementation of measures in line with EU transport policies.