GEAR | Foss Maritime tug to be fitted with autonomous sailing system
Foss Maritime has selected an autonomous command and control system developed by Sea Machines Robotics for use aboard the harbour tug Rachael Allen following its completion in May 2021.
Sea Machines said the installation will make Rachael Allen the first US-flagged harbour tug to integrate autonomous systems in real-world commercial operations.
Once delivered, the tug will be deployed to Foss Maritime in California, where it will provide tanker escort and ship assists for Foss’ customers.
The system’s capabilities include include transit autonomy, obstacle detection and avoidance, and remote access of the tug’s on-board machinery, a feature that allows personnel to manage and support operations from anywhere on board the vessel or from shore.
While Rachael Allen will be delivered with the autonomous command system and supporting hardware fully integrated into the vessel, the capability of the technology will be activated in stepped phases over the course of six to nine months to ensure full visibility and acceptance from all operational stakeholders.
Foss will use its existing fleet monitoring centre personnel to monitor the tug’s systems and operating domain via streaming video and sensor data.