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Blog Partner Interviews: Bureau Veritas & Vodafone

October 19, 2021

[dt_highlight color=”” text_color=”” bg_color=””]Blog highlight:[/dt_highlight] In a challenging industry like ours, missions go smoothly when you select the right partners and collaborate. Get to know our partners who are developing a robust set of standards that enable new technologies to be safely implemented and providing 4G/LTE near shore connectivity to ensure reliable at-sea communications.

In this Q&A, Sea Machines interviews Bureau Veritas and Vodafone, about their decisions to support The Machine Odyssey and how their services support our mission and the next generation of autonomous operations.

Q: Please start by telling us about your companies.

Bureau Veritas: We are the second oldest of all the Classification Societies, and our core mission is still as valid now as it was back when we were founded in 1828. Risk is ever-present. Protecting our clients’ people, ships and offshore structures drives every decision and action we take. This deep sense of purpose makes us go beyond the scope of individual projects to find new ways to anticipate and manage risk across the industry, promoting health and safety, and protecting the marine environment.

Vodafone: Vodafone Roaming Services ensure that every day over 63 million mobile customers and devices can confidently connect in virtually every country of the world. More than 90 mobile operators and maritime communication providers and other businesses, including some of the world’s top players, use our roaming services, both inland and near shore. We manage contracts and technical connectivity with more than 700 networks across almost 210 destinations and negotiate roaming rates and trade traffic volumes with our roaming partners.  Our scale allows us to optimize costs and revenues. Vodafone strives to make sure that our roamers and devices stay connected and enjoy unmatched voice and data experience.

Q: Why did you choose to sponsor The Machine Odyssey project?

Bureau Veritas: We can only address our core mission by investing in the future, and working with valuable industry partners, such as Sea Machines, to develop safe, new technologies that work to protect the safety of seafarers and maritime assets. The Machine Odyssey project has been a key element in helping demonstrate to the maritime industry that seafarer-assist, and autonomous technologies can be safe and reliable.

We are a proud to be a partner in the Machine Odyssey project. At Vodafone, one of our purposes is enabling a digital society and we believe in the power of connectivity and digital services to strengthen the resilience of economies. We believe investing in the digitalization and automation of vessels will help shipping industry advance in many ways, positively affecting our global economy, trade and travel as a result. We are looking forward to The Machine Odyssey pioneering the industry to prove autonomy is not just a concept, but it has applicable value. This voyage will demonstrate that global shipping companies can integrate autonomous technology into their vessel operations for enhanced safety, reliability, productivity and new on-water capabilities. Connectivity plays a key role in enabling autonomy and we are confident that our Near Shore 4G services will actively help enable remote control during this voyage.

Q:  How will your product support Sea Machines’ mission to autonomously voyage 1,000 nm around Denmark?

Bureau Veritas: Bureau Veritas is supporting Sea Machines by ensuring that the technologies embedded in their solutions are robust and reliable within their context of operations, helping to bring trust in the future today.

Vodafone: While 4G/LTE cannot replace satellite connectivity, especially in the deep sea, it offers higher data speeds and lower latencies in coastal areas and ports. We believe hybrid connectivity models for vessels that leverage the best of 4G and satellite are the future of connectivity in shipping. Connectivity is crucial on The Machine Odyssey voyage, as complete onboard vessel control will be fully managed by Sea Machines’ autonomous technology. This project leverages Vodafone’s Roaming Services 4G connectivity to usher in a new era in autonomous transportation. We help maritime businesses ensure their vessels, passengers and crews are smartly and reliably connected. The coastlines of our 4G destinations represent 93 percent of the world’s total coastlines. When also including our 3G and 3G+ destinations, 99 percent of the global coastlines are covered by Vodafone Roaming Service’s Roaming Footprint. Hence our coverage and quality will help The Machine Odyssey stay connected in its journey.

Q: Why is important for the marine industry to adopt innovative technologies, like autonomous technology?

Bureau Veritas: The marine environment will always be a hazardous place to work and operate. As an industry we must be relentless in our pursuit of increasing levels of safety. Seafarer workloads are increasing and as a consequence, the wellbeing of our seafarers is always under threat with potential for safety to be undermined. Technologies such as those being developed by Sea Machines can be used to mitigate these detrimental effects to human and asset safety.

Vodafone: In recent years, commercial shipping has faced a number of challenges. Globalization, environmental concerns and the adaption of new technologies have all placed additional burdens on the sector’s ability to grow and prosper. To address these issues and maximize operational efficiencies, many shipping operators are accelerating the digitalization of their businesses. By adopting hybrid connectivity models and innovative technologies, the marine industry can make operations more efficient and resilient.

Q: What will you be watching for in this mission? Any challenges for your team to overcome? What are you most proud of?

Bureau Veritas: We are extremely proud of the Sea Machines teams globally for undertaking such a monumental journey safely and successfully – the amount of effort and planning cannot be underestimated to complete such an adventure.

Vodafone: Our role during this mission has been to help The Machine Odyssey stay seamlessly connected when near shore so the autonomous and remote operations run smoothly. We will achieve this through our broad coverage, high data speeds and low latency 4G network. We will closely monitor the traffic and quality to ensure the success of this mission. We are also looking forward to witnessing how much data will be transferred throughout the voyage between continents that will indicate how much connectivity is needed for similar missions in the future. We’re most proud of our ongoing quest to connect everyone for a better future – while working toward more sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions.

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You can learn more about the sponsors at the links below.

Bureau Veritas: https://www.bvna.com/

Vodafone: https://roaming.vodafone.com