Keppel tug gets first ABS Autonomous Notation

A remotely operated harbour tug developed by Keppel Offshore & Marine has become the first vessel to receive the Autonomous Notation from classification society ABS.

Already the holder of the first-ever ABS Remote-Control Navigation Notation, the 32-metre tug, which is owned and operated by Keppel Smit Towage, has now been recognised for its newly added autonomous capabilities.

“We are proud to receive the world’s first Autonomous Notation from ABS,” said Romi Kaushal, Managing Director of Keppel Smit Towage.

“Autonomous and remote operations enhance the efficiency and safety of tug operations by adding value with additional traffic and situational operational information. This allows the tug captain and crew to focus on the more crucial tasks of safe tugging operations.”

Supervised by an onboard tug master, this most recent phase of the project saw the vessel perform autonomous collision avoidance tasks that satisfied the requirements outlined in the recently published ABS Guide for Autonomous and Remote-Control Functions, which introduced the AUTONOMOUS and REMOTE-CON notation.

The Guide sets out a goal-based framework for the implementation of these technologies on vessels and offshore units and covers interactions with relevant stakeholders, such as port authorities and other vessels. The publication uses a risk-based approach to determine the requirements for the assessment and implementation of autonomous and remote-control functions.

“Autonomous technology continues to advance at pace, and I am proud to say ABS is pioneering its development alongside forward-thinking clients such as Keppel,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology.

“Together we have recorded another significant milestone on the path to this technology’s adoption by the global fleet and integration into day-to-day operations. We are developing the future of maritime operations with a focus on safety.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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