Norway-based e-navigation specialist NAVTOR has been selected to join an EU-funded, Philips-led consortium focused on exploiting the potential, and ensuring the integrity, of cyber-physical systems (CPS). The company has joined 30 other European partners in launching the ECSEL Joint Undertaking TRANSACT-project, funded by the European Union’s H2020 Framework Programme. NAVTOR will team up to develop new applications and AI-enhanced maritime services for improved performance and safety, building its offering for customers, while tapping into a wealth of cross industry research and expertise.
CPS technology is increasingly commonplace (systems that control physical processes/objects and adapt to real-time conditions – e.g. autonomous vehicles, or smart vessels). However, their often-standalone nature means their full potential cannot be exploited. TRANSACT brings together large companies, SMEs, research institutes, and universities to explore ways to create an integrated, connected architecture for such systems, primarily through enhancing edge and cloud technologies. This could help ensure that safety-critical CPS deliver optimal levels of performance, safety, security, and data privacy – key building blocks in a smarter, safer, and more sustainable future.
“This is a hugely exciting project to be part of,” commented NAVTOR CEO Tor Svanes. “We have a long history of involvement in research consortiums focused on solving industry challenges, such as the SESAME and SESAME-2 projects, and are delighted to have been selected alongside so many other leading companies and institutions to utilise and develop our AI-enhanced edge and cloud computing expertise. This can benefit society as a whole and, more specifically, deliver real advantages for our industry and growing customer base.”
One of TRANSACT’s key focus areas is ‘critical maritime decision support’, with NAVTOR using its experience to tackle issues around: Fuel optimisation through route optimisation; detection of anomalies in fuel consumption during voyage, traffic pattern monitoring; situational awareness along intended Passage Plan; detection of abnormal vessel behaviour; and detection of malicious tampering of AIS/GNSS.
This will bring together the firm’s knowledge in both e-Navigation (harnessing the potential of its connected, cyber-secure e-Navigation ecosystem) and performance optimisation, which was boosted earlier this year by the acquisition of US-based software developer Tres Solutions.
“The future is connected,” commented Bjørn Åge Hjøllo, Chief Business Development Officer, NAVTOR. “Having better access, control and seamless, secure sharing of data is the platform that a more sustainable industry can be built on, with improved performance, efficiency and drastically reduced emissions. Being a part of TRANSACT will allow us to extend the existing edge/cloud architecture on vessels and enable continuous development and updates of dynamic end-to-end safety and performance monitoring applications and services. We expect this to open doors for additional services, such as early warnings of potential navigational risks, and anomalies in assumed fuel consumption and performance. Taken together these pieces of the puzzle can help us put together a greener, safer and more profitable future for vessel owners and operators worldwide.”
NAVTOR will work closely with Norwegian partner SIMULA Research Laboratory, to develop and implement AI-enhanced monitoring and decision support solutions. The firm will also serve on the Executive Board of the project and be responsible for its overall monitoring and technical progress, quality assurance, and the day-to-day management of scientific and technological activities.
Netherlands technology giant Philips has been appointed project lead, with partners also drawn from Finland, Germany, Poland, Austria, Spain, Belgium, and Denmark. Other non-marine focus areas include the remote operation of autonomous vehicles in urban environments, cloud-based battery management systems for electric vehicles, and edge-cloud-based clinical applications for image guided therapy and diagnostic imaging, as well as critical wastewater treatment.