Listing of pilot and research projects in the field of automation in inland navigation

In 2018, the CCNR adopted an initial international definition of levels of automation in inland navigation (Resolution 2018-II-16). The CCNR has charged its Police Regulations Committee monitoring developments in automated navigation (from navigation assistance to fully automated navigation) and considering the possible need for regulatory measures.

The CCNR Secretariat publishes below a list of the relevant national and international of projects including the assessment of the specific level of automation.

Project stakeholders are invited contact the Secretariat (ccnr@ccr-zkr.org) to modify or add information regarding on-going projects on automation in inland navigation.

 

Ref. no.
Pilot project name
Project sponsors
Work duration
Country
Degree of
automation
according
to
Resolution
Brief description
Links
1 LAESSI
“Guidance and assistance system for increasing the safety of navigation on inland waterways”
Consortium comprising four public and private organisations:
- in-innovative navigation GmbH,
- WSV,
- DLR
- Alberding GmbH
2015-2018 DE 1 Advanced assistance system with 4 features:

• The bridge collision warning system provides timely warning to the vessel’s master in the event of a problem when passing beneath a bridge.
• The berthing assistant displays distance measurements and calculations relative to the quayside or other vessels, thereby assisting the boatmaster during a difficult berthing manoeuvre.
• The track control assistant assists the boatmaster by maintaining the vessel on a predetermined track when travelling through a sector.
• The control screen permanently displays all the vessel’s movements, the rudder position and speed of the propeller.
www.innovative-navigation.de
2 Shipping Technology
(Shipping factory / Xomnia)
Shipping Technology
(Shipping factory / Xomnia)
2016-… NL 4 Use of (existing) nautical equipment for collecting on-board data and building a predictive model to enable automated navigation based on artificial intelligence (AI).
Released base product: Black Box Pro which collects all the data from nautical systems such as radar, pilot, motor management, and GPS, and stores it in the Cloud. + storage of camera images and mariphone.
With all this data, provide insights through a dashboard into the day-to-day business process and the possibility to reproduce what happened at historical events such as collisions, groundings etc. etc.
Future applications (which run on the Black Box Pro): collision detection static, collision detection dynamic, autostowage, semi-autonomous shipping (based on Deep Learning Algorithms).
Live testing predictive models already on existing ship (Shipping Factory) in the Netherlands
shippingtechnology.com
3 Zulu 3, Zulu 4 Blue Line Logistics Vessels entering service in 2021/2022 BE 4 Two new vessels for automated navigation with remote control. Operating concept currently being approved with national authorities.
www.bluelinelogistics.eu
4 NOVIMAR
The consortium comprises 22 partners, logistics operators, industry, public bodies and research organisations

Coordinator: Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT)
2017-2021 EU 3 Reorganisation of navigation with ship trains (platooning): 1 lead vessel + accompanying vessels (remotely controlled and with a reduced crew).

Areas of research interest are: business concept of the vessel train, waterborne transport system, composition and design of the vessel train, navigating and manoeuvring the vessel train, human factor, waterway infrastructure and operations, safety, regulations
novimar.eu
5 Seafar Seafar NV, Port of Antwerp, De Vlaamse waterweg 2018-… BE 4 Existing vessel equipped with sensors for automated navigation on a predetermined course, taking account of the environment (but with remote control).
Test on the Albert Canal in December 2018 (vessel Tuimelaar).
Test on Ypres-IJzer Canal and the Plassendale-Nieuwpoort Canal in November 2019 (vessel Watertruck X).
www.seafar.eu
6 Autonomous shipping in the “Westhoek” KU-Leuven (Catholic University of Louvain), De Vlaamse waterweg, POM West-Vlaanderen 2017-2019 BE 4 Unmanned autonomous inland cargo vessel demonstrator. Tests with a scale model (1:8 of CEMT I) on the Yser in November 2018 and September 2019.
www.mech.kuleuven.be
7 Towards Autonomous Inland Shipping KU Leuven 2017-2021 BE 4 PhD research project focusing on the modelling, identification, and motion control of unmanned inland cargo vessels. www.mech.kuleuven.be
8 Feasibility study - Autonomes Fahren in der Binnenschifffahrt North Rhine Westphalia
Ruhr-IHK
Entwicklungszentrum für Schiffstechnik und Transportsysteme (DST)

Westdeutsches Kompetenzzentrum in Sachen Binnenschiff.
2018 DE - With automated and (partially) autonomous navigation in inland navigation, the following opportunities are identified:
- relieve the nautical personnel in the future and thus alleviate the shortage of skilled personnel
- transport costs would fall, and smaller ships with smaller lot sizes would also be economically viable.
- Accidents caused by human error could be avoided.
- The digitalisation and networking associated with autonated navigation would create the conditions for better linking of modes of transport to intermodal and integrated transport chains and increase the transparency of traffic flows.

According to the study, the Rhine-Ruhr region is ideally suited as a test field for automated navigation, as the waterway and port infrastructure offers different requirements: There are areas with little traffic as well as complex port areas. Ship owners, operators, institutes are also located in the region.
www.ihks-im-ruhrgebiet.de
9 Hull-to-hull (H2H) Kongsberg, KU Leuven, Mampaey, SINTEF 2017-2020 EU 3 The aim it is to develop a concept for hull-to-hull and hull-to-quay positioning. Positioning accuracy is a key element in developing automated vessels. H2H is intended as an open concept with standardised data exchange to enable different suppliers’ vessels, infrastructure and solutions.to work together.
3 demonstrations are planned between now and 2020: Norway, Netherlands and Belgium (specific to the navigable waterways).
10 Smart Shipping: Strategic Analyses in the Netherlands for Rijkswaterstaat Rijkswaterstaat 2018 NL - The objective of this research was to give a inside in the potential impact of Smart Shipping on the role and task of Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch fairway authority). Three stages:

- perform a scenario study with potential future scenario's for society, based on current existing trends and developments. (timeframe 2030)

- research on the potential impact of these scenarios on the role and task of Rijkswaterstaat. Looking at for example fairway maintenance, traffic management and the possible changes of the (digital) infrastructure.

- identify possible measure or moves that Rijkswaterstaat could make on this moment based on the foreseen futures.
www.rijkswaterstaat.nl
11 Test and control center for autonomous inland navigation vessels Development Centre for Ship Technology and Transport Systems (DST)
University of Duisburg-Essen

RWTH Aachen University

Transport Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia
March 2020 (opening planned) DE - The Centre represents the essential research infrastructure for the subsequent research and development activities around autonomous inland shipping.
The centre encompasses amongst others:
• a modern, freely configurable control stand in a ship-piloting simulator with a 360-degree 3D projection system,
• a control center with three workplaces for the coordination of the mixed traffic with conventional and autonomous inland vessels, and
• four workplaces for research scientists containing the necessary computer equipment for the development of AI-based autonomous control systems.
www.dst-org.de
12 AutonomSOW Alberding GmbH
LUTRA Hafen Königs-Wusterhausen
DLR Neustrelitz
Bundesverband Öffentlicher Binnenhäfen
2019-… DE - The project objective is the development of a concept for the establishment of a digital test field for inland navigation for automated and autonomous operation on the Spree-Oder-Waterway (SOW).

2019 Feasibility study for an automated and autonomous inland navigation trials area on the Spree-Oder waterway.
2019 Setting up of the trials area
202X Operating trials on the Spree-Oder waterway
www.autonomsow.de
13 Autonome Schifffahrt auf der Kieler Förde
(CAPTin – Clean Autonomous Public Transport)
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel 2018-… DE 3 Development of an automated boatmaster lock entry and exit assistance system.
Provision of a shore-based server and of transmission infrastructure for integrating, validating and demonstrating the system
www.uni-kiel.de
14 SCIPPPER, “SChleusenassIstenzsystem basierend auf PPP (Precise Point Positioning) und VDES für die BinnenschifffahRt”
Consortium seven private and public organisations:
- in-innovative navigation GmbH,
- WSV,
- DLR,
- Alberding GmbH,
- Weatherdock AG,
- Argonics GmbH,
- Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau (BAW)
2018-2021 DE 3 Development of an automated boatmaster lock entry and exit assistance system.
Provision of a shore-based server and of transmission infrastructure for integrating, validating and demonstrating the system
www.innovative-navigation.de
15 Captain AI Captain AI works together with the Port of Rotterdam, Watertaxi Rotterdam and Kotug
2018- NL 4 Captain AI is developing a safe and fully autonomous shipping solution using high-fidelity simulation, cutting-edge sensors and state-of-the-art deep learning techniques.
www.captainai.com
16 AMS Roboats Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Wageningen University and Research (WUR).
2016-2020 NL ? In the third research year activities will focus, among others, on:
- Upscaling navigation and autonomy to a 1:2 scale Roboat. Due to their size, these vessels have different dynamics and navigation behavior.
- Further developing the latching mechanism for 1:2 scale prototypes to latch individual vessels or dock them to the quays.
- Designing and refining the propulsion technology, the energy system and the electric charging technology for 1:2 scale prototypes.
- Further developing the water sensor technology in collaboration with Waternet.
www.ams-institute.org
17 Remote Control Tug Kotug, Alphatron, KPN, M2M Blue, Veth 2018 NL 3 Kotug can remotely control the RT Borkum. Studies the possibility of unmanned towing. www.kotug.com
18 Sensing Marinminds 2018- NL 4 A broad range of new and existing technologies need to be integrated into one system. Project Sensing focuses on developing a prototype of an on-board sensor- and data acquisition system. With testing automotive grade sensors and object recognition software, gain insight in the required alterations and development of the algorithms for later use in autonomous systems
www.marinminds.com
19 AURIS (AUtonomous Remotely monitored Innovative Ship) MARIN
2018-… NL 4 The objective of this project is to research which sensors and analysis methods are required to achieve optimal situational awareness of the marine environment from a ship, and to interface an (autonomous) vessel with a Shore Control Centre. This will be done by developing and testing a modular intelligent situational awareness module (ISAM) on a 6m rigid-hulled inflatable boat.
20 modular Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (mAUV)
MARIN 2018- NL 4 The objective of the mAUV v1.0 project is the development of a modular underwater vehicle (mAUV) hardware & software, including all a first approach for 6D control and allocation. It will be used for basin model tests at MARIN in 2019. In the coming years the model will serve as one of MARIN's underwater test platform for AUV research.
21 AUTOSHIP The consortium comprises industrial technology providers, logistics operators, public bodies and research organisations including: KONGSBERG Group, Blue Line Logistics, De Vlaamse waterweg, Bureau Veritas, SINTEF and University of Strathclyde.

Co-ordinator: Ciatech (PNO Group).
2019-2022 EU/BE 4 AUTOSHIP is an EU funded (Horizon 2020) project that will build and operate an autonomous barge and its needed shore control and operational infrastructure, reaching and going over TRL7. Testing will take place during a pilot demonstration in inland waterways near Antwerp in Flanders.

The project will speed-up development of the Next Generation of Autonomous Ships with the technology package including for example autonomous navigation, situational awareness, remote monitoring, electronic route exchange, as well as communication technology enabling a prominent level of cyber security and integrating the vessel into upgraded e-infrastructure. In parallel, digital tools and methodologies for design, simulation and cost analysis will be developed for the whole community of autonomous ships.

AUTOSHIP will help ship operators/owners to improve the profitability of their investments, to effectively gain competitiveness and renew their fleets, making them more competitive to replace road transport within the EU.
trimis.ec.europa.eu
22 A-SWARM (Autonome elektrische Schifffahrt auf WAsseRstrassen in Metropolenregionen) BEHALA (Berliner Hafen- und Lagerhausgesellschaft GmbH)
Infineon
SVA (Schiffbau-Versuchsanstalt Potsdam GmbH)
Technische Universität Berlin
Universität Rostock
Veinland GmbH
2019-2022 DE 4 The project is intended to contribute to modern city logistics on the basis of autonomous, connectable and electrically operated watercraft. The main focus is on the development and testing of autonomous watercraft, i.e. with the exception of GPS, without any significant land-based support. The feasibility of such a system is to be demonstrated by a demonstrator operation in a real laboratory in the area of Berlin's Westhafen (Spree / Charlottenburger Verbindungskanal / Westhafenkanal/ Berlin Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal) www.behala.de
23 AKOON (Automatisierte und koordinierte Navigation von Binnenfähren) RWTH Aachen University
Voith GmbH & Co
Rheinfähre Maul GmbH
in - innovative navigation GmbH
BMVI
2019-2022 DE 4 The experimental craft in the AKOON research project is the ferry "Horst" of the company ferry Maul, which operates near Mainz between the towns of Oestrich-Winkel and Ingelheim.
Due to narrow passages, sandbanks and strong currents, the area of operation is considered particularly challenging, especially at low water levels. Such difficult conditions take the ferry drivers of the Rhine ferry to the limits of their capabilities, which is why the automated operation of inland ferries can relieve the ferry personnel, especially in such exceptional situations.
The research project is intended to lay the foundations for full automation in inland navigation and act as a technology driver. Future developments in the field of ship assistance systems, especially in the area of inland navigation, are to be derived from this project in the future.
www.irt.rwth-aachen.de
24 Prepare Ships ANAVS
Lantmäteriet
RISE
SAAB
Stena Line
TELKO
2019-2022 EU 3 Prepare Ships is creating a smart positioning solution by developing and demonstrating a data fusion of different sensor and signal sources to enable a robust navigation application. The idea is that vessels with accurate positioning based on EGNSS, data and machine-learning should be able to predict future positions of nearby vessels. Besides a decreased risk for collisions, this also means additional benefits in the form of a more energy effective manoeuvring of the vessels, something which can also reduce the (negative) environmental impact of navigation. www.prepare-ships.eu
Last updated: 07.01.2020