Transportation methods all come with their advantages and disadvantages. Air transport offers urgency but has limited capacity. Road transport comes in the middle with limitations due to traffic and the inability to reach certain places. Maritime transport is slow, but it accounts for around 80% of all global trade. Its cost-effectiveness and capacity for large cargo vessels make it the preferred choice. But what happens when this cost-effectiveness starts lacking? Seeing the shortage of trained personnel, Seafar‘s remote navigation emerged.
— SEAFAR (@SEAFAR4) April 25, 2023
Cost-effective marine operations
Seafar is a Belgian company that offers remote operation of unmanned or crew-reduced vessels. Similar to those of self-driving cars, it makes use of several sensors and, with the help of AI, creates the optimal path for the vessel while avoiding obstacles along the way. The model supports machine learning, so with every iteration, it learns and optimizes on its own.
Apart from that, licensed captains with long-track records of maritime navigation are based in the company’s Shore Control Center to safely and effectively oversee and take control of the vessels when needed. With the help of remote navigation, Seafar promises a decrease in idle time, saving approximately 500 working hours per year. It also captures data from the vessel so that owners can analyze it later on to improve efficiency.
With the establishment of a German initiative, SEAFAR aims to advance remote-controlled and crew-reduced inland navigation on German waterways. Two leading inland shipping companies in Germany and Europe, #HGKshipping and #reedereideymann, have been won as exclusive partners 🤝 pic.twitter.com/mo1frSGLVU
— SEAFAR (@SEAFAR4) September 27, 2022
After their success in Belgium, Seafar established collaborations that allowed them to reach Germany and the Netherlands. While the project is still in its early phases, we can only imagine how this or similar technology can become a standard everywhere in the world. We may be getting oversaturated with AI innovations, but this one hits differently. Maritime transport prices have been shown to directly affect inflation worldwide, and it is logical as so many of the goods we buy get transported this way.
We may be at the dawn of a new era for the trade industry, with maritime transport benefitting from automation. Taking little steps, expanding slowly, and testing every aspect, Seafar might be onto something that might reshape our definition of seafaring.
Youtube: What does Seafar exactly do? – Seafar