TALLINN - Estonian shipper Tallink is to form a partnership with Finnish researches to develop techniques for autonomous navigation, the program will be funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and practical field tests will be carried out on Tallink's Megastar shuttle.
Tallink Grupp is set to team up with Finnish maritime innovator Fleetrange, researchers from the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) and Aalto University to develop autonomous ship navigation techniques. Funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the research project is expected to develop autonomous shipping solutions that offer safety at sea, ESA said.
As part of the project, Tallink's Megastar shuttle operating on the Tallinn-Helsinki route will be fitted with various sensors. The technology will combine data from visual images, environmental sound recordings, radar and lidar ranging, satellite navigation, and vessel transponders. The goal is to automatically identify and recognize objects, such as navigation aids and other vessels and boats around the ship and provide improved situational awareness information through sensor fusion.
"The choice of Megastar as a test vessel was an easy decision and we are delighted to have Tallink Grupp's support for the project. Tallink is the front-runner in innovative new solutions and the Megastar is the most advanced and environmentally friendly ferry in this area," Fleetrange CEO and founder Henrik Ramm-Schmidt said.