Leading European ferry operator Stena Lines says that a pilot project has shown that fuel consumption can be cut using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to predict the most fuel-efficient way to operate a vessel. The results show a fuel consumption savings of 2-3 % per trip and Stena will now launched the program on more vessels.
Reducing fuel consumption is a priority area for Stena Line, which has a target of lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 2.5 % yearly.
Fuel is one of the largest costs for a ferry operators like Stena Line, at around 20% of total costs.
In 2018 Stena Line started a pilot project onboard the Stena Scandinavica on the Gothenburg, Sweden, to Kiel, route using AI technology to predict the most fuel-efficient way to operate a vessel. The results show that the project has been successful, enabling the captain and crew to save 2-3 % fuel per trip with AI assistance.
The software is now named Stena Fuel Pilot and will be installed on five more Stena Line vessels this fall. Next year, Stena is planning to do a complete fleet wide roll-out on all its 37 vessels operating in Europe.
“Stena Line aims to become the worlds first cognitive ferry company; assisted by AI in all areas by 2021” says Jari Virtanen, Chief Transformation Officer at Stena Line.
“This project is using AI technology to support our captains and officers to save fuel. By improving the efficiency, we reduce both our costs and our environmental footprint. It really embodies Stena Line’s vision of Connecting Europe for a Sustainable future.”
“This is a result of a successful collaboration between man, woman, and machine; between people and technology; between a team of skilled software developers, data scientists and finally a committed captain and his crew on Stena Scandinavica,” says Virtanen.
Working side by side, Stena Lines Head of AI, Lars Carlsson, and Senior Master Jan Sjöström of Stena Scandinavica were key players in the success of the project.
With more than 40 years of experience handling Stena Line’s vessels in a safe and fuel-efficient way Sjöström is looking forward to continuing to share both his experience and his new insights into AI technology.
“Planning a trip and handling a vessel in a safe and, at the same time, fuel efficient way is craftsmanship,” he says. “Practice makes perfect, but when assisted by AI a captain or officer can improve how to optimize fuel quicker, in return, this contributes to a more sustainable journey.”