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Singapore Develops South-East Asia’s First Ship Navigation Simulator Using Artificial Intelligence

The Singapore Polytechnic’s (SP) Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) recently developed an Advanced Navigation Research Simulator (ANRS), in collaboration with Singapore Maritime Academy and a software company. The ship navigation simulator, which is used in ship crew training, was introduced at the 11th Singapore Maritime Institute forum, which was held at the Singapore Polytechnic (SP).

It is said to be the first such equipment in Southeast Asia, combining simulated training with artificial intelligence to interpret intricate data collected by sensors such as glasses that track users’ eye movement and headbands that register electrical brain activity. The simulator includes a full mission ship bridge and a traffic service system that simulate real-life conditions, allowing trainees to practise and be evaluated without having to go out to sea.

Users’ audio quality – such as a stammer – and pulse rate during a simulated crisis would be recorded as well, giving trainers a better idea of their readiness. The Singapore Maritime Academy, the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety, and software firm expect that improved training programmes would result, reducing the number of maritime incidents caused by human error. According to the Senior Minister of State for Transport, ANRS does not replace the necessity for human trainers but instead supplements their training.

Moreover, he believes AI breakthroughs to be one of the frontiers in a time of rapid innovation, adding that when borders reopen and cross-country exchanges expand, the ANRS may be used to teach regional mariners.

The Senior Minister of State for Transport, Chee Hong Tat, revealed an $80 million fund to support the Singapore Maritime Institute, which was established ten years ago as a collaboration between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, and the Singapore Economic Development Board to conduct research and innovation in the maritime sector.

Singapore, as a leading international maritime centre and global hub port, has developed a reputable maritime innovation ecosystem that is vibrant and diverse. The Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map provides maritime enterprises with a sectoral blueprint to support our maritime innovation ecosystem in achieving greater vibrancy, collaboration, and new growth areas as we co-develop the next wave of innovation capabilities.

Since the development of the Singapore Maritime R&D Roadmap a few years ago, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has been focusing on digitalisation to help companies innovate and improve productivity.

In a statement, the Chief Executive of MPA, said, “Innovation and digitalisation are the key areas for Maritime Singapore to sharpen our competitive edge. We recognise that some companies need help to kick-start their digitalisation journey. With this in mind, we have formed the Circle of Digital InnOvators (CDO) network to champion the adoption of technology and innovation. We will also roll out the Sea Transport Industry Digital Plan to help SMEs in their digitalisation journey. We hope that through such efforts, we can bring the maritime sector to a new level.”

The Singapore Maritime Institute has already developed successful initiatives that helped local businesses and received international recognition. For example, a virtual tool for creating walk-through movies of ships has been commercially employed to familiarise crew members with their ship, a task that was formerly done physically.

In addition, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) stated that it intends to establish Singapore as a world-class maritime knowledge and innovation hub within the next decade. Hence, four memorandums of understanding were signed at the forum to collaborate on various projects, including research activities between the MPA and the China Waterborne Transport Research Institute, as well as the Singapore Maritime Institute and the University of Turku in Finland.

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