Maersk Selects Sea Machines for World’s First AI-Powered Situational Awareness System aboard a Container Ship Peter Amelia Smith


Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics announces today that it has signed a contract with A.P. Moller-Maersk, of Copenhagen, Denmark, to trial its industry-leading perception and situational awareness technology aboard one of the company’s new-build Winter Palace ice-class container ships. The deal is significant not only to Sea Machines and Maersk but also to the larger maritime industry. This installation marks the first time that computer vision, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and perception software will be utilized aboard a container vessel to augment and upgrade transit operations.

The solution chosen by Maersk is the latest in Sea Machines’ portfolio and uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve at-sea situational awareness, object identification and tracking capabilities. Similar to Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) commonly found in automobiles – which alerts drivers of roadway hazards and prevent accidents Sea Machines’ system uses advanced sensors to collect a continuous stream of information from a vessel’s environmental surroundings, identify and track potential conflicts, and efficiently

display the knowledge in the wheelhouse. The system facilitates safer and more efficient maritime operations.

Maersk’s goal for the collaboration is to prove that the technology aids seafarers, can remove the line of sight restriction from the bridge, and provides the infrastructure for a future autonomous collision avoidance system.

‘We are extremely proud that the world’s largest shipping company selected Sea Machines as their advanced perception and autonomous technology provider,’ explained Michael Johnson, founder and CEO, Sea Machines. ‘This partnership with Maersk marks our first foray into the shipping sector and allows us to positively contribute towards the operator’s technology goals. Our mission is to propel the maritime industry forward with 21 st century technology and it’s exciting to see the growing demand for Sea Machines products.’

‘Our team first met Sea Machines around three years ago when they were developing the concepts of their first autonomous systems, and already we were impressed with their technical capability, planned product path, and practical understanding of the future needs of the marine market,’ said P. Michael A. Rodey, senior innovation manager, A.P. Moller-Maersk.

‘For this containership situational awareness programme, we aim to prove that the technology increases our safety, efficiency, and reliability. Autonomous vessels are not an end goal for Maersk nor are unmanned vessels, but what is more of interest is the technology along the journey and the value it brings.’

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