Notching up several “firsts,” Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M) reports that it has successfully completed its first autonomous vessel project.
Capable of autonomous vessel navigation as well as collision detection and avoidance (CDCA), the 65-meter tug Maju 510, owned and operated by Keppel Smit Towage, is the first vessel in the world to receive the Autonomous Notation from ABS classification society.
The tug is the first in South Asia that can be remotely operated by joystick control. It can be controlled from the shore command centre with a joystick even for complex maneuvers, and was the first vessel in the world to receive the ABS Remote Control Navigation Notation in October 2021.
It is also the first vessel to receive the Smart (Autonomous) Notation under the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). This certifies the tug’s ability to perform autonomous and remote control navigation in a controlled environment with seafarers on board.
“Autonomous vessels and technologies have immense potential to transform the nature of maritime operations,” said Keppel O&M CEO Chris Ong “With in-depth engineering expertise and extensive retrofitting experience, Keppel O&M is able to customize autonomous solutions for a range of vessels. This includes digitalizing onboard systems and processes, modifying the vessel, as well as integrating best-in-class technologies and enhanced systems connectivity. We look forward to deepening our collaboration with MPA and industry partners to raise the bar for maritime operations.”
“Autonomous and remote operations enhance the efficiency and safety of tug operations by adding value with additional traffic and situational operational information,” said Romi Kaushal, managing Director of Keppel Smit Towage. “This allows the tug captain and crew to focus on the more crucial tasks of safe tugging operations.”
As the systems integrator for the autonomous solutions, Keppel O&M, through its technology arm, Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology (KMDTech), set up the shore command center and upgraded the 65-ton bollard pull Maju 510 by retrofitting advanced systems to generate digital situational awareness and high accuracy positioning and manoeuvring.
The Maju 510 was outfitted by Keppel O&M with state-of-the-art systems and technologies, such as ABB Ability Marine Pilot Vision and Marine Pilot Control, which use artificial intelligence to automate navigational observations, fusion of data from different sources, risk assessment, decision making and vessel control. The tug was also outfitted with various technologies that KMDTech developed in partnership with MPA and the Technology Center for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), such as a Digital Twin which simulates vessel behavior in multiple scenarios.
Following the completion of the autonomous tug, Keppel O&M and Keppel Smit Towage aim to collaborate with MPA to test varying degrees of autonomous operations, including interaction and collaborative operations among autonomous vessels, tests in live traffic, remotely supervised autonomous operation with improved port connectivity, and pushing and towing operations.
FEATURES OF THE MAJU 510 AUTONOMOUS TUG
- First vessel in the world to receive Autonomous (NAV, OP1) Notation from ABS classification society
- Capable of autonomous point navigation, collision detection and avoidance. During the sea trial witnessed by MPA, the tug demonstrated autonomous CDCA capabilities with two dynamic objects with varying speeds and headings.
- Equipped with various technologies including a Digital Twin, which simulates vessel behavior in multiple scenarios and optimizes vessel operations, as well as data analytics tools to improve the control and response of the tug. This was developed by KMDTech in collaboration with MPA and TCOMS.
- First in South Asia that can be remotely operated by joystick control. It can be controlled from the shore command centre with a joystick even for complex maneuvers and is the first in the world to receive the ABS Remote Control Navigation Notation. The vessel received the ABS REMOTE-CON (NAV, OP1) notation in October 2021.
- The remote control feature leverages the ultra-low latency 4.5G network connectivity of M1, another member of the Keppel Group, to establish standards and data transfer links in terms of latency and reliability for the ship to shore communication, and support mission-critical Internet-of-Things maritime applications.
- First vessel to receive the Smart (Autonomous) Notation by MPA. The tug was issued the Smart (Autonomous) D2B Notation, certifying the tug’s ability to perform autonomous and remote control navigation in a controlled environment with seafarers on board.
- Features ABB’s Ability Marine Pilot Vision, which provides the sensor fusion from onboard systems to generate a digital situational awareness, and ABB’s Ability™ Marine Pilot Control system, which executes the necessary intelligent maneuvering and control commands.