The Clean Autonomous Public Transportation Network (CAPTN) initiative in Kiel, Germany, has completed a successful demonstration remotely controlling the vessel MV Wavelab from shore, in collaboration with navigation technology provider Anschütz.
MV Wavelab was created as a research platform for autonomous and semi-autonomous navigation, which can be monitored in the maritime test field from its shore control centre in real time. The sensors and navigation systems on board can be accessed from the centre, and the ship’s steering and propulsion can be remotely controlled.
The project partners have created a complete digital twin of the vessel in the control centre with all data provided by the various sensors and systems on board.
“We are pleased that with the commissioning of the shore control centre at Anschütz, we are now taking a big step towards autonomous as well as semi-autonomous driving tests in the digital test field in Kiel,” said Daniel Sommerstedt, Project Manager for CAPTN at Anschütz.
In order to exchange the large amounts of data required in real time between the ship and the shore control centre, a 5G mobile architecture and WiFi-6 network was implemented, provided by Addix GmbH.
Camera systems display a 360-degree view from MV Wavelab in real time, with multifunctional displays allowing access to the navigation radar as well as to the electronic nautical chart and navigational data. The steering and propulsion systems are also available on another display.
On a separate dashboard, the performance of the overall system is presented, such as the available bandwidth, the status of the system components or the energy consumption.
“In the shore control centre we have the possibility to feed a lot of new data into our bridge platform, process it and then visualise it in an overall maritime picture,” said Mr Sommerstedt.
“One of the goals of the next research stage is to find out what information needs to be presented to users and in which way, so that they can monitor and remotely control the Wavelab safely and efficiently.”
Navigation assistance systems implemented on MV Wavelab include collision avoidance technology, which employs artificial intelligence, automated berthing, and object recognition within video images.