A group of Swedish organisations have joined forces to develop an AI-based, semi-autonomous system for planning and executing energy efficient sea voyages, utilising Big Data analytics to optimise propulsion and fuel consumption.
The Via Kaizen project is funded by the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) and is being coordinated by CIT Industriell Energi. Ship propulsion technology company Lean Marine will lead the research and development project, working with AI-application developers Molflow and academics from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg to develop the new system.
This will include integration of Lean Marine’s FuelOpt propulsion automation system with Molflow’s Slipstream technology, to optimise propulsion dynamically in real-time based on orders given by the AI system developed for the Via Kaizen project.
Slipstream will be trained on ship data collected by Lean Marine’s Fleet Analytics platform to describe vessel performance in different conditions, using deep learning technologies. The software will then determine the most energy efficient voyage given the constraints of the route and the ship, calculating the commands that need to be set to reach the destination with the least possible amount of fuel consumed.
“Once ‘the perfect simulated journey’ is determined, FuelOpt steps in and creates an interface between the captain and the AI-based voyage planning solution, empowering them to cooperate and execute the voyage accordingly,” said Linus Ideskog, Director of Development at Lean Marine.
“FuelOpt will act as a key enabler in AI-powered voyages thanks to its ability to automatically and directly optimise the propulsion line based on commands set by the captain and/or sent by the AI voyage optimisation solution, in this case from Slipstream.”
Naval architect researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology will contribute on the development of new models and algorithms for the project, while researchers on social anthropology and human factors at Gothenburg University and Linnaeus University will conduct research on the human impact of the implementation of the new technology.
The Swedish Shipowners’ Association is also participating, with a trio of ship owners and operators offering their vessels for technology and product validations, including chemical/product tanker owner and operator Rederiet Stenersen, and pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) owner and operator UECC.