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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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IntelliTug Project wins at the SBR Technology Excellence Awards 2020

PSA Marine and Wärtsilä's brainchild won in the Digital - Marine and Offshore Engineering category.

The IntelliTug project is a collaboration between technology provider Wärtsilä, marine services provider PSA Marine, classification society Lloyd’s Register, the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine Singapore (TCOMS), and co-funded by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) Fund. Taking an ecosystem approach, Wärtsilä brought together the best of digital solutions and a human centric service design approach to collaborate with like-minded organisations who shared their expertise and experience to embark on autonomous systems development and test-bedding.

The Port of Singapore is the world’s busiest transshipment hub and PSA Marine plays an important role in supporting the port’s operations and movement of vessels within the Singapore waters. With the high traffic, PSA Marine tug masters are often faced with complex demands in the process of providing towage services to massive container ships in the congested waters.

With the team’s determination to make autonomous vessels a reality, the IntelliTug project has gone from the drawing board to virtual and real-world testing in Singapore Port waters. The team tested the systems’ integration and digital viability through the use of Wärtsilä’s autonomous ship simulator. This ensures fundamental safety requirements are met, performance of the capabilities of the system are tested under the digital scenarios designed, as well as immersive usability tests conducted by the tug masters.

In March 2020, PSA Marine and Wärtsilä completed its initial sea trials using the MPA Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) regulatory sandbox, which has been established to facilitate the testing of MASS and other autonomous technologies in a safe and controlled environment within the Port of Singapore. During the initial sea trials, phased approach was employed to test against the increasingly complex suite of scenarios – starting with virtual obstacles and subsequently with live operating vessels. The successful trials have since proved the IntelliTug’s capability in autonomous navigation and as a smart navigation system.

“The IntelliTug project sets out to discover smarter, safer and more efficient ways of operating a harbour tug. With a sense of purposeful inquisitiveness and a “can-do” attitude, we are able to challenge the conventions of what a tug master and a harbour tug can be capable of. We thank our partners for being alongside us in this journey as we continue this work in redefining the tug of the future,” said Peter Chew, Managing Director of PSA Marine.

For this project, Wärtsilä Voyage equipped PSA Polaris, a PSA Marine harbour tug used in the IntelliTug project, with Wärtsilä’s sensor suite that includes Wärtsilä’s near-field, high-resolution RS24 Radar and Wärtsilä’s Dynamic Positioning system. These smart technologies are key in enabling the autonomous capabilities of the IntelliTug. Data from the sensors are fused and integrated with the digital controls into a light-weight, human-centric smart navigation system.

The smart navigation system enhances the tug master’s situational awareness and provides safe passage planning routes that would enable him to make better decisions, safer and faster.

“The IntelliTug project is truly a shining example of the kind of practical innovation that exemplifies the intersection of technology and ecosystem in action. The strong partnership, alignment of purpose is a catalyst for open innovation and foster greater collaboration across boundaries. We are thrilled to receive the award with our partners, and look forward to future developments related to this project,” expressed Sean Fernback, President, Wärtsilä Voyage.

Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project:

The Technology Excellence Awards, presented by Singapore Business Review, was held via video conferencing throughout the first and third week of June.

This year’s nominations were judged by a panel consisting of Daryl Pereira, Head of Cyber at KPMG; Cheang Wai Keat, Head of Advisory Services in Singapore and ASEAN Technology Consulting Leader at Ernst & Young; Chin Chee Choon, Advisory Leader and Assurance Director at Nexia TS; Rizwi Wun, Partner, Acting Head of Intellectual Property and Technology Practice Group at RHTLaw Asia; Carolyn Chin-Parry, Managing Director and Digital Accelerator Leader at PwC.

If you would like to join the 2021 awards and be acclaimed for your company’s exceptional technological innovations, please email Julie Anne Nuñez at julie@charltonmediamail.com

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