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Blog Top 5 Ways Autonomous Technology is Solving the Marine Industry’s Greatest Challenges

December 16, 2019

The global maritime industry is responsible for billions in economic output and is a major driver of jobs and commerce. Despite the sector’s success and endurance, it faces significant challenges that can negatively impact operator safety, performance and profitability. Sea Machines is solving for many of these challenges by developing technologies that are helping the marine industry transition into a new era of task-driven, computer-guided vessel operations.

We solve real-world challenges.

Read on to learn how Sea Machines’ autonomous-command and remote-helm control systems solve for many of the industry’s most persistent challenges by increasing the capability, productivity, predictability and safety of workboats and commercial vessels.

SOLUTION: Autonomous waypoint following

Autonomous grid and waypoint following capabilities relieve mariners from manually executing planned paths. Today’s autonomous systems uniquely execute with human-like behavior, intelligently factoring in environmental and sea conditions (including wave height, pitch, heave and roll); change speeds between waypoints; and actively detect obstacles for collision avoidance purposes.

Autonomous marine systems also enable optionally manned or autonomous-assist (reduced crew) modes that can reduce mission delays and maximize effort. This is an important feature for anyone performing time-sensitive operations, such as on-water search-and-rescues or other urgent missions.

SOLUTION: Obstacle detection and collision avoidance

Autonomous marine systems offer obstacle detection and collision avoidance capabilities that keep people and assets safe and out of harm’s way. These advanced technologies are much more reliable and accurate than the human eye, especially in times of low light or in poor sea conditions.

SOLUTION: Remote-helm and payload control

Because today’s systems enable remote-helm control and remote payload management, there is a reduced need for mariners (such as marine fire or spill response crews) to physically man a vessel in a dangerous environment.

Bonus: A remote-helm control beltpack (shown) also improves visibility by enabling mariners to step outside of the wheelhouse to whatever location provides the best vantage point when performing tight maneuvers, dockings and other precision operations.

SOLUTION: Remote vessel monitoring

Autonomous marine systems enable situational awareness with multiple cameras and sensors streaming live over 4G connection. This real-time data allows shoreside or at-sea operators a full view of an autonomous vessel’s environment, threats and opportunities.

SOLUTION: Collaborative operations between autonomous vessels

Minimally manned vessels can autonomously collaborate to cover more ground with less resources required, creating a force-multiplier effect. A single shoreside operator can command multiple autonomous boats with full situational awareness.

For operators workboats and other commercial vessels, Sea Machines autonomous-command and remote-control systems are available now. There’s no need to build new vessels. The Sea Machines SM300 or SM200 can be added to workboats as a retrofit or as part of new-build specifications, typically requiring only 10 components to install. Most vessels can be outfitted with a Sea Machines system in two days or less. Even for small fleets, the system is surprisingly accessible, thanks to an affordable price point or flexible leasing options. .

If you’re ready to increase your fleet’s capability, predictability and productivity, while simultaneously reducing your at-sea risk and operational costs, contact us today.