BMT wins UKHO ‘Unlocking Autonomous Navigation’ challenge

BMT has been announced as the winner of the first ADMIRALTY Marine Innovation Programme challenge by the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO), for a new navigation system combining its REMBRANDT and TUFLOW simulation technologies to support autonomous operations planning and real-time navigation safety in waterways and ports. 

Launched earlier this year in collaboration with RE_SET, the UKHO programme’s first innovation challenge focused on ‘Unlocking Autonomous Navigation’ and tasked participants with identifying how marine geospatial data can support the safe navigation of commercial autonomous ships.

BMT’s system successfully simulated the navigation of a 140m part-autonomous ferry in Plymouth port using multiple ADMIRALTY data sets, including bathymetry, tidal streams and heights, seabed composition and ship routing. The new application can also be linked to other external and environmental data sources, including satellite and AIS receivers. 

As the challenge winner, BMT will collaborate with the UKHO and utilise its marine geospatial data and expertise to develop an alpha product for the autonomous shipping sector. In addition, as part of this challenge BMT has won a seat at the IoT Tribe Space Endeavour Accelerator to further develop technologies using satellite-derived data.

“We strongly believe in the development and transition to a fully autonomous world and we are particularly proud to put our experience and knowledge towards a challenging navigation project that could become a catalytic factor for industrial innovation in this area, and beyond,” said Sarah Kenny, Chief Executive of BMT.

“Thanks to these initiatives, introduced for the very first time this year by the UKHO, BMT will strengthen its technological leadership in a very competitive sector.”

The UKHO says that it plans to roll out more challenges to help tackle a number of important issues, including renewable energy generation, blue carbon sequestration and sea-level rise modelling. The next challenge on ‘Transforming Maritime Risk and Insurance’ is currently open for entries via the UKHO website.

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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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