How do you train seafarers who won’t necessarily go to sea, but will manage vessels remotely from shore? Singapore’s Center of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) aims to do just that — and more — with the help of a next-generation navigational simulator from Wärtsilä Voyage. The simulation platform will be based on the Wärtsilä NTPRO (Navi-Trainer Professional 5000) Navigational Simulator in a shore-based operational configuration.
CEMS is a collaboration between the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) and Singapore Polytechnic, supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. It will execute research and development in multiple skills with the support of augmented, mixed, and virtual reality. The project will focus on new modeling and simulation tools that enhance marine and navigational safety, the development of a complex port environment, as well as validation of new operational concepts, particularly with smart and autonomous ships.
“This is a strategically important partnership as CEMS and Wärtsilä Voyage share common objectives of introducing next-generation smart marine technologies safely and with a human-centric approach, both on the vessel and on the shore side. We look forward to working with CEMS and like-minded global partners to advance this important topic,” said Chris Chung, director, ecosystem development at Wärtsilä Voyage.
“As the maritime industry gets more digitally connected, it is opportunity to embark on a journey to identify and define new skillsets that could be radically different from today. CEMS shares a common vision with Wärtsilä Voyage to embrace technologies and prepare our workforce to be future ready through research and innovation,” said Daniel Zhang, center director, CEMS at Singapore Polytechnic.
THREE CORE DISCIPLINES
Wärtsilä Voyage’s collaboration with CEMS covers three core disciplines of seascape, landscape and mathematical modeling of all relevant vessel types for training shore-based navigation officers, as well as the development of training material for remote operations. These include areas such as assistive technologies for use onboard ships and during training, simulators to study human behavior and competency to enhance the safety of navigation, infusing wearable technologies, and co-develop scenario-based “standards validation” simulation for autonomous vessel research. The research concepts and projects will be conducted over the next two years.
Recognizing the long-term need of creating an environment to promote data-driven innovation and developments in the maritime sectors, the Singapore Maritime Institute has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement with Wärtsilä Voyage. Under this, the two parties will continue to cooperate and identify industry challenges that can be resolved through data-driven tools, applications, and technologies, as well as provide researchers with relevant and anonymised data to support their work under SMI’s Maritime AI R&D Program.
“The project is of high significance as it paves the way for future collaborations and projects not only in the Asia-Pacific region but with the global industry where Wärtsilä Voyage’s simulation platforms can act as safe testbeds for validating all kinds of smart marine and autonomy technologies,” said Pierre Guillemin, vice president, technology at Wärtsilä Voyage. “AI and simulation tools not only provide us with the unique platform to safely test and validate a myriad of situations and environments before going for actual sea trials, but they also give mariners ample opportunity to get used to the new technology without any risk.”