Inmarsat has signed a new business cooperation agreement that will see Hyundai Global Service (HGS), a subsidiary of Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries, incorporate Fleet Xpress Dedicated Bandwidth Services into its vessel digitalisation programmes, with HGS becoming a Certified Application Partner (CAP) within Inmarsat’s digital ecosystem.
The formal agreement follows the completion of trials on board three ships over a three month period, testing a variety of sensor-driven applications measuring voyage and equipment operating data, including fuel consumption and vibration monitoring, as well as HGS analytics and reporting services.
The Inmarsat CAP programme allows application developers to use Dedicated Bandwidth Services over Fleet Xpress or FleetBroadband in delivering their services to vessels, or to access Fleet Data, Inmarsat’s Cloud-based IoT platform, via a dedicated API.
“The Hyundai-Inmarsat agreement is effectively the first of its kind and marks the commercial service introduction of Inmarsat’s Fleet Xpress Dedicated Bandwidth Services as part of our portfolio of solutions for Certified Application Providers,” said Stefano Poli, VP, Business Development, Inmarsat Maritime.
“With this new service, HGS is now strengthening its value proposition of applications to monitor and analyse ship performance for existing and new customers.”
HGS has already signalled that it intends to extend its ship digitalisation offering into the retrofit market, with discussions continuing with Inmarsat on options to provide a bundle of connectivity, certified hardware, and HGS’s Digital Transformation services as a ‘Shipyard Service Package’.
The company had previously announced a deal with fellow Korean maritime technology company eMARINE Global in February, for the supply of a Marine Internet-of-Things (IoT) platform for retrofit to ships currently in operation.
In related news, Inmarsat has also announced that it has signed up as a new member of One Sea, an industry alliance on autonomous ship technology. NYK Group research subsidiary MTI (Monohakobi Technology Institute) has also newly joined the project as a full member, with the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) becoming a new associate member.
The members list now includes ABB, Cargotec, Ericsson, Inmarsat, Kongsberg Maritime, MTI, Tieto, Wärtsilä and Finnpilot Pilotage. Other partners include RINA, Finnish Marine Industries, Shipbrokers Finland, Finnish Port Association and Finnish Shipowners’ Association.
Financing is provided by the participating companies and Business Finland, with the whole ecosystem led by DIMECC.
One Sea members ABB, Kongsberg Maritime and Wärtsilä ran separate autonomous ship trials off the Finnish and Norwegian coasts at the end of 2018. Finnish regulators have also authorised One Sea to oversee future trials in Jaakonmeri off western Finland – the first dedicated test zone worldwide.
“Members have complete freedom to innovate and develop their own cost-efficient autonomous ship solutions inside an alliance which is nonetheless committed to harmonising technical standards,” said Päivi Haikkola, leader of the One Sea project.
“Our expectation is that, as member numbers grow, operating solutions will multiply but members will also work towards integration.”
NYK and Japan Marine Science (JMS) have already been working on their own projects with nautical instrument manufacturers to develop automated ship navigation technologies, with a tugboat test for NYK company Wing Maritime Service Corporation scheduled for H2 2019.
Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has said that it expects to see autonomous ships operating in the country by 2025, the same year targeted by One Sea to create an autonomous shipping infrastructure that includes a full set of safety rules and technology standards.
“Inmarsat is joining One Sea in recognition of the special value it sees in initiatives that adopt a targeted and goal-based approach to autonomous shipping and its beneficial technologies,” said Inmarsat’s Stefano Poli.
“One Sea is emerging as a strong voice on interoperability and standards that the wider industry is listening to. As Inmarsat continues to roll out the high-speed maritime broadband service that will enable and protect shipping’s digital future, it is critical we support the alliances enabling integration.”