The Finnish intelligent marine technology company, Wärtsilä Voyage, has signed an MoU with the China Classification Society (CCS) and Tianjin Port to advance China’s intelligent vessel technology and deploy next-generation tugboat technology at one of the busiest ports in the world.
According to this company statement, the project’s scope includes delivering advanced situational awareness technology and providing highly advanced digital simulators, which will significantly enhance and expedite vessel concept testing, including intelligent and autonomous algorithm testing, training, and safety. The next-generation intelligent tugboat is expected to begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2023.
The larger aim of the partnership is to enhance safety, productivity, and efficiency in China’s busy ports with intelligent vessels and smart sensor technology. Wärtsilä Voyage will, thus, also contribute to and support CCS in developing the first-of-its-kind intelligent vessels standards and guidelines for domestic vessels.
Wärtsilä Voyage will conduct systematic and human-centric user research to help optimize workflow and improve overall work performance and safety. Developing these intelligent ship standards will also involve establishing international collaboration and knowledge exchange on safety standards and best practices of such smart vessels.
“The signing of this MoU is incredibly significant as it elevates our relationship with CCS and Tianjin Port Group from a traditional supplier-customer relationship and towards a deeper and long-term strategic partnership. Considering the Port of Tianjin is one of the top ten busiest ports in the world, as well as its strategic importance in China’s shipping scape, this is an excellent pilot case which opens many other opportunities for collaborations in the region,” said Sean Fernback, President, Wärtsilä Voyage and Executive Vice President, Wärtsilä.
China and Finland jointly endorse the project under the China-Finland Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation MoU, and the China-Finland Flagship Project on Science and Technology Innovation Cooperation Strategy, 2019-2023. The MoU was virtually signed on 25 November 2021 in the presence of the dignitaries from the Ambassador of Finland to China and the Ministry of Transportation, People’s Republic of China.