Rolls-Royce predicts that Ship Intelligence will be the next major transition
for the shipping industry as ships are set to become more complex and will
require high levels of data analysis to operate on-board systems to manage
propulsion, navigation and potentially lead to autonomous vessels.
Press release published by Rolls-Royce on 11 December, 2014
Rolls-Royce predicts that Ship
Intelligence will be the next major transition for the shipping industry as
ships are set to become more complex and will require high levels of data
analysis to operate on-board systems to manage propulsion, navigation and
potentially lead to autonomous vessels.
Together with VTT Technical Research
Centre of Finland, Rolls-Royce today unveiled its latest vision of Ship
Intelligence - a futuristic ship's bridge concept which could become reality by
Rolls-Royce has worked together with
VTT's researchers and Aalto University to develop the new bridge, known as the
Future Operator Experience Concept or ‘oX'. It offers the crew smart
workstations, which automatically recognise individuals when they walk into the
bridge, and adjust to their own preferences.
The windows of the bridge serve as
augmented reality displays of the vessel's surroundings, including visualisation
of potential hazards that would otherwise be invisible to the human eye. The
system can, for example, pinpoint sea ice or tug boats and other craft that may
not be visible to the crew, especially on large container ships.
Mikael Mäkinen, Rolls-Royce,
President - Marine, said: "We are entering a truly exciting period in the
history of shipping, where technology, and in particular the smart use of Big
Data is going to drive the next generation of ships. Over the next ten to 20
years we believe Ship Intelligence is going to be the driving force that will
determine the future of our industry, the type of ships at sea, and the
competence levels required from tomorrow's seafarers.
"The new oX bridge concept, is one
example of ship intelligence, and is a glimpse into the future where significant
advances to navigation, efficiency of operations and safety at sea, can be
"With the demands of environmental
legislation and rising operating costs, ships are going to become more complex.
Add to that the fact that skilled crews are already in short supply, then we see
a distinct gap opening up between the complexity of ships and the competency of
the people who will crew them. That will cause real problems for the industry,
and we believe it is ship intelligence, that will fill that gap."
The oX concept, has been developed by
studying user experience on ships today, and will transform the operating
environment for crews on board large cargo ships and platform supply vessels.
Using advanced 3D animation to illustrate just what could be achieved in the
next decade, the new concept will utilise the latest digital techniques to
create safer and more energy efficient ship operations.
Today, Rolls-Royce already has many of
the technologies that will be part of the intelligent ships of the future. The
Unified Bridge system has recently entered service on the vessel Stril Luna,
representing a new ergonomic approach to all the activity required on the bridge
of a ship, coordinating the operation of on-board equipment ranging from engines
to propulsion and cargo handling.
The remote monitoring of equipment on
board ships is also advancing, and Rolls-Royce has control centres in Alesund,
Norway, and Rauma, Finland, where many ships and thrusters are already monitored
in real-time in operation around the world.
Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royce,
Vice President - Innovation - Marine, speaking at a Ship Intelligence briefing
in London today, said: "Many of the technology building blocks that will control
the ships of the future are already available today, but there is still work to
be done to develop marine solutions from them. We are investing in ship
intelligence, which will be a major driver of the next transition era of
shipping. Much in the way that sail gave way to steam powered ships, and coal
gave way to oil, we will see increasingly sophisticated ships, highly automated
and perhaps even unmanned remote controlled, plying the seas within the next two
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