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Rolls-Royce and MOL complete Intelligent Awareness pilot

Rolls-Royce and Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) have completed a pilot project aboard a 165m passenger ferry, Sunflower Gold, testing the applicability of Intelligent Awareness and machine learning technologies to maritime operations.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Results from sea trials on the vessel, which operates night-time sailings between Kobe and Oita, Japan, found that the navigating officers were able to use the systems to visually detect objects that would otherwise have been obscured by darkness.

The vessel navigates the Akashi Kaikyo, Bisan Seto and Kurushima Straits, routes which can become heavily congested with fishing nets and small to mid-sized fishing vessels during night-time crossings.

Rolls-Royce installed an array of Intelligent Awareness sensors, thermal imaging cameras and its Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system on the vessel in April 2018, following the 2017 signing of a joint development agreement with MOL.

“We turned night into day,” said Iiro Lindborg, Rolls-Royce, general manager remote & autonomous solutions. “MOL and the Sunflower Gold crew were very satisfied with the results.”

Data obtained from this and other Rolls-Royce Intelligent Awareness (IA) projects will now be fed into the company’s machine learning algorithms to further develop the IA system, with the objective of putting a permanent installation aboard the Sunflower Gold later this year.

“To achieve MOL’s high-level safety policy, Rolls-Royce and our project team had a discussion about how the Rolls-Royce Intelligent Awareness System could help our crew’s navigation duty aboard passenger ferry Sunflower Gold,” said Kenta Arai, director at MOL.

“Our crew always needs to be under intense situational awareness because our ferry runs through an area with heavy marine traffic in the dark and the relative speed is high.”

“We specified the configuration of Intelligent Awareness for our ferry with Rolls-Royce’s advanced sensing and data fusion technology. The trial result was successful and we had good feedback from our crew. We are expecting to get a more effective and helpful system for our passenger ferry from the findings and the result of this project.”{/mprestriction}

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