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Singapore signs tech-upgrade MOU for navigational safety

Image credits: a-star.edu.sg/ A*STAR

The Institute of High-Performance Computing (IHPC) at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Singapore Polytechnic (SP)’s Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding MOU to upgrade navigational safety on August 30, 2019.

The signing of the MOU was part of the International Safety @Sea Conference 2019 organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The MOU is to span over three years and is focused on the development of new technological solutions and training systems for the prevention of maritime accidents.

Some of these solutions and training include human behavioural analytics, advanced numerical models and smart maritime traffic modelling. These plans are focused on upskilling future seafarers to be prepared for surviving in more sophisticated port areas.

IHPC will employ its capabilities in complex modelling and simulations to upgrade CEMS’s Next Generation Navigation Simulator (NGNS).

NGNS is a collaboration between SP and the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI).

It will be used to perform operations such as modelling and simulation of a complex port environment and new vessel designs and operational concepts.

It can also be used as an innovative training system for training the present and future maritime workforce to be equipped with the knowledge and skills of new technological maritime operations such as autonomous shipping.

Training will also include understanding and knowing how to deal with industry challenges such as sea traffic congestion in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and identifying human errors, which are one of the biggest contributors of maritime incidents.

IHPC will also leverage on artificial intelligence (AI) solutions which can study and comprehend human behaviour from video footages and develop advanced computational models to portray realistic vessel safety situations.

AI will also be used to develop predictive models for assessing future situations of vessel interactions.

One of the aims of the MOU is to make the realistic and practical simulation training provided by NGNS available to maritime students and professionals.

“Singapore’s reputation as a leading maritime capital and a thriving maritime ecosystem is in part due to the local build-up of maritime technology and capabilities over the years,” said Dr Lim Keng Hui, Executive Director of IHPC.

He added that this collaboration between IHPC and CEMS will allow Singapore’s maritime workforce to develop new digital skills and employ technologies to be used in the future maritime and shipping industry.

Dr Lim said that “A*STAR will continue to support the public sector’s needs” with their technologies and innovations.

Technologies at play

MPA is currently using drones for the inspection of vessels. Previously port inspectors would have to climb onboard vessels about 10 to 20 storeys high.

A collaboration between MPA and IBM saw the use of tablets with analytic technology to detect safety breaches or unusual activity.

5G technology is being explored on to allow for better connectivity to allow for real-time transmitting of information from the sea to the office at land.

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