Svitzer, Kongsberg Maritime, ABS to develop world’s first commercial tug to be fully remotely controlled

Svitzer, Kongsberg Maritime, and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) have entered into an agreement to jointly develop the world’s first commercial tug to be fully operated from a remote operations centre on shore.

While Svitzer will provide operational experience, a newly built tug with crew as well as tug-specific technical solutions, Kongsberg Maritime will provide the remote control systems and the autonomous technology and lead the integration of systems and technology. ABS will supply the guidance and expertise necessary to obtain regulatory approval.

The aim of the project is to develop a remotely controlled tug that will be able to perform a full towage operation with all operations controlled from a remote operations centre.

The solution and the achieved safety level are expected to lead to maritime authorities (class and flag) approving the technology, ultimately permitting Svitzer to conduct commercial remote tug operations in the Port of Copenhagen. The project is expected to run for the years to come.

The project is a continuation of the first Svitzer/Kongsberg Maritime (formerly Rolls-Royce Marine) project announced in 2017 centred around remotely operated navigation of the tug Svitzer Hermod in the Port of Copenhagen.

As a result of the project, the partners safely conducted a number of remotely controlled, non-towage specific manoeuvres on water. From the quay side in Copenhagen Harbour, the vessel master, stationed at a remote operating centre, berthed the vessel alongside the quay, undocked, turned 360 degrees, went for a sail, and safely docked again.

Svitzer said that the near-shore environment of harbour towage where it operates is well-suited for remote controlling requiring full connectivity.

Baird Maritime

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