AI-powered collision avoidance tech gets $2.6m in funding


Orca AI, a developer of artificial intelligence-powered collision avoidance technologies founded in 2018, has completed a $2.6 million funding round to back further development of its autonomous vessel systems.

The funding round was led by MizMaa Ventures and included investment from Ray Carriers and The Dock. The Orca AI system has already been installed on several ships owned by Ray Carriers as part of a pilot programme.

Orca AI’s technology is designed for crowded waterways and low visibility scenarios, supplementing existing onboard sensors with thermal and low light cameras as well as a navigation and vessel tracking system powered by AI (artificial intelligence).

The system assists crews in detecting ships at both long and short distances, and is able to recommend course corrections and actions to avoid potentially dangerous situations. The company says that it sees these technologies as a first step in introducing autonomous and semi-autonomous features to vessels already on the water.

“The maritime environment is unique, with severe weather and low-light conditions creating situations with minimal visibility,” said Yarden Gross, CEO, and Co-Founder of Orca AI.

“We wanted to tackle the hardest part of navigation head-on with an easy-to-use tool that empowers crews with a more detailed picture of their surroundings in situations with little to no visibility.”

“The progression towards autonomous ships needs to be gradual, first by demonstrating value on the water with insight and recommendations and then taking control in specific voyage segments. Our solution is doing just that, showing the benefits that can be enjoyed with an advanced system operated by the crew while building the framework for the future of maritime navigation.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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