Kotug tests autonomous technology on tug in Port of Rotterdam

RT Borkum (Photo: Veth Propulsion)

Kotug International, ship design company Rotortug, and Dutch tech start-up Captain AI have begun conducting trials of a tug fitted with an autonomous sailing system.

The tug RT Borkum was tested on the Nieuwe Maas River in Rotterdam using a route planner and an autopilot developed by Captain AI. To define the route as efficiently as possible, Captain AI’s software is connected to Kotug’s dispatch planning software, enabling optimised route planning in real-time based on AIS data and AI.

Kotug claims that, in addition to allowing tugs to navigate autonomously, the system would also help ensure significant reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by determining optimum routes in between two separate points.

The next step is making the software suitable for large-scale applications and to explore matters such as safety and legislation, in consultation with users and legislators.

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