Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Safe Autonomous Intelligent Commercial Shipping Solutions to Feature LIDAR, Thermal Imaging and AI

Another Technological Maritime Wave from Household Names in Transport and IT
Shipping News Feature
WORLDWIDE – Rolls-Royce and Intel have announced their intention to collaborate on designs for 'sophisticated intelligent shipping systems' that will aim make commercial shipping safer. The sea can be a hostile environment with dangerous ocean conditions having resulted in 1,129 total shipping losses over the past 10 years, mostly due to human error. Enabling a vessel to better navigate and detect obstacles and hazards in real time, requires the crew to have the information they need to make smart and potentially lifesaving decisions, something the two partners hope to provide with it new service as the sector looks towards automation.

The cooperating partners aim to advance smart, connected and data-centric systems for ship owners, operators, cargo owners and ports, bringing together the expertise in advanced ship technology from Rolls-Royce with components and systems engineering from Intel. With a focus on safety, new ships will have systems with the same technology found in smart cities, autonomous cars and drones.

The new shipping intelligence systems will function on vessels fitted with Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based servers on board, effectively turning them into cutting-edge floating data centres with heavy computation and AI inference capabilities. Rolls-Royce’s Intelligent Awareness System (IA) uses AI-powered sensor fusion and decision-making by processing data from LIDAR, radar, thermal cameras, HD cameras, satellite data and weather forecasts. This data allows vessels to become aware of their surroundings, improving safety by detecting objects several kilometres away, even in busy ports. This is especially important when operating at night, in adverse weather conditions or in congested waterways.

Data collected by the vessels is stored using Intel 3D NAND SSDs, acting as a ‘black box’, securing the information for training and analysis once the ship is docked. Even compressed, data captured by each vessel can reach up to 1TB per day or 30TB to 40TB over a month-long voyage, making storage a critical component of the intelligent solution. Kevin Daffey, Rolls-Royce, Director, Engineering & Technology and Ship Intelligence said:

“We’re delighted to sign this agreement with Intel, and look forward to working together on developing exciting new technologies and products, which will play a big part in enabling the safe operation of autonomous ships. This collaboration can help us to support ship owners in the automation of their navigation and operations, reducing the opportunity for human error and allowing crews to focus on more valuable tasks.

“Simply said, this project would not be possible without the leading-edge technology Intel brings to the table. Together, we’ll blend the best of the best, Intel and Rolls-Royce to change the world of shipping.”