Wärtsilä makes first SmartDock sale
Technology group Wärtsilä has secured the first commercial order for its SmartDock auto-docking system.
The Wärtsilä SmartDock system reduces the risk of errors resulting from ship officers having to perform docking manoeuvres many times a day. The captain selects the destination and with a single click, engages the SmartDock system. The ship then leaves the dock, manoeuvres out of the harbour, sails to the next port of call, manoeuvres into the harbour and docks alongside the quay, all without human intervention.
Joonas Makkonen, vice president of voyage solutions at Wärtsilä, said that SmartDock was the culmination of decades of extensive research. "Our system draws on similar automation and positioning technology used by oil rig support vessels to maintain proximity to the rig in the toughest sea environments," he explained.
"This gives us absolute confidence in SmartDock’s ability to meet the urgent commercial need to provide the safest possible docking for commuter ferries,” he added.
The successful sea trials were carried out onboard the Folgefonn, an 85m ferry owned by Norwegian operator, Norled. The testing also included operating the automatic 180-degree rotational turn of the vessel, as well as Wärtsilä Guidance Marine’s CyScan AS with GeoLock technology, a cyber-security enhancing secondary position sensor, which enables the approach to the berth to continue even if the GPS signal is lost.
“It’s the perfect collaboration between an experienced crew and technology,” said Norled's regional director, Inge Andre Utåker.
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