US Coast Guard to evaluate autonomous vessel technologies

US shipbuilder Metal Shark Boats is to supply the US Coast Guard (USCG)’s Research and Development Center (RDC) with a new vessel for the purposes of testing and evaluating the capabilities of autonomous technologies, following a new partnership with Sea Machines Robotics.

The 9-metre monohull pilothouse vessel will come equipped with the Sea Machines SM300 autonomous-command and remote-helm control system, offering capabilities including transit autonomy, collaborative autonomy, collision avoidance and remote vessel monitoring.

Demonstrations are scheduled for October off the coast of Hawaii, where the RDC team will test and evaluate the vessel’s autonomous capabilities for their potential to support USCG surveillance, patrol and other missions. Following the Hawaii demonstrations, the autonomous vessel will be returned to the RDC’s New London facility, where it will take part in additional testing.

“As the premier USCG facility performing research, development, test and evaluation in support of the service’s major missions, the RDC team is eager to observe Sea Machines’ system in action,” said USCG’s Derek Meier, Assistant Demonstration Director.

“The exercises will ultimately help us determine how, when, and if this innovative technology can be used to support personnel who are executing a variety of Coast Guard activities.”

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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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