Swedish consortium develop AI powered ship system for energy efficiency

A group of Swedish technology entrepreneurs and academics have joined forces to accelerate the research and development of an AI-based, semi-autonomous system for planning and executing more energy efficient sea voyages.

Swedish ship propulsion optimisation company, Lean Marine, is leading the research and development Via Kaizen project, funded by the Swedish Transport Administration.

The aim is that the project will contribute considerably to the reduction of emissions both from international and domestic transportation, and make Swedish shipping more sustainable and competitive in the long-term.

Lean Marine and AI-application developers, Molflow, have been collaborating with academics from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg to bring the project together.

Lean Marine’s FuelOpt optimises the propulsion line in real-time, based on orders given by the AI system while gathering data from signals onboard. Those data are fed into Lean Marine’s Fleet Analytics programme where they’re shared with Molflow’s vessel modelling system, Slipstream.

“Molflow is committed to attaining the best use of the information hidden in the big data sets,” says Joakim Möller, founder of Molflow. “In the Via Kaizen project, Slipstream will be trained on ship data available from Lean Marine’s Fleet Analytics platform and will describe the vessel performance in different conditions with deep learning technologies. Our Slipstream system will then be able to determine, given the constraints of the route and the ship, the most energy efficient voyage and calculate the commands that need to be set to reach the destination with the least possible amount of fuel consumed.”

“Once ‘the perfect simulated journey’ is determined, FuelOpt steps in and creates an interface between the captain and the AI-based voyage planning solution, empowering them to cooperate and execute the voyage accordingly,” says Linus Ideskog, director of development at Lean Marine. “FuelOpt will act as a key enabler in AI-powered voyages thanks to its ability to automatically and directly optimise the propulsion line based on commands set by the captain and/or sent by the AI voyage optimisation solution, in this case from SlipStream.”

In addition to the project partners, a trio of ship owners and operators are involved, including chemical/product tanker owner and operator, Rederiet Stenersen, and pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) owner and operator, UECC. By offering their vessels for technology and product validations, they will enable on-board testing, and the results will be directly evaluated within the scope of the project.

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