Semi-autonomous vessel transporting cargo

Belgium based Seafar has introduced semi-autonomous sailing between Zeebrugge and Antwerp, with container vessel Deseo.

The automated vessel Deseo transports containers between Zeebrugge and Antwerp, supported by the Seafar control centre and technology.

The aim is to evolve towards navigation with a reduced crew. Sailing with a reduced crew, combined with support from an SCC (Shore Control Centre) is the first step towards autonomous sailing.

The aim is to progress the possibilities of automated navigation, reducing the number of crew onboard to create better efficiencies and address the growing shortage of trained seafarers.

Deseo will be sailing two or three times per week, between the two ports. It’ll be supported by a central control station. The tests include an experienced crew on the vessel who can take over if necessary.

The technology being tested was developed by Seafar, which is also providing centralised control.

Operators’ systems are based on artificial intelligence, sensor fusion, and object detection.

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