DFDS adds situational awareness tech to ro-ro ferry

DFDS has installed the SPECS digital situational awareness technology system from Wärtsilä Voyage on board the 197m ro-ro ferry Selandia Seaways, to improve the safety and efficiency of its navigation and docking procedures.

Operating a busy route between Cuxhaven, Germany, and Immingham, UK, the Selandia Seaways crew will have a full overview of the vessel’s position within the system, providing additional support during critical procedures at the start and end of every voyage.

“Many of our vessels operate in narrow and congested waters, where situational awareness and 360-degree vision is crucial,” said Mads Bentzen Billesø, Head of Innovation and Partnerships at DFDS.

“Access to a full and high-res image of the vessel and its surroundings, as well as exact distances to important objects around the vessel, all in real-time, is a very powerful tool. This supports our crew members and captains in making the right operational decisions in even the most challenging situations based on data, improving efficiency and safety.”

The SPECS set-up includes cameras, augmented reality and data integration. The Selandia Seaways was fitted with four super-wide cameras, providing 360-degree awareness, including a bird’s eye view, with a calibrated grid providing the exact distance between the vessel and the quayside and other objects in real-time.

The augmented reality functionality supports operational decision-making by superimposing navigation data onto the video stream provided by the cameras in real time, to allow potential hazards to be identified before they become a danger. The technology also includes a post-voyage incident investigation tool, for further analysis and to support training programmes.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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