Work Starts on Singapore’s Autonomous Tug


    Keppel Offshore & Marine subsidiary Keppel Singmarine has commenced the development of an autonomous tug to be operated by Keppel Smit Towage in Singapore.

    The vessel is expected to be one of Singapore’s first autonomous vessels when the project is completed in 4Q 2020.

    The project will involve modifying a 65 MT tug by retrofitting advanced systems such as position maneuvering, digital pilot vision, as well as collision detection and avoidance. An onshore command center will be set up to remotely control the tug.

    Keppel O&M has secured a grant of up to S$2 million from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) under its Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund for the project. This follows the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Keppel O&M, MPA and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore, in April 2018 to jointly develop autonomous vessels for a variety of applications including harbor operations, berthing, mooring and towing.

    Keppel O&M’s technology arm Keppel Marine and Deepwater Technology will develop various technologies and be the system integrator for the autonomous solutions. These technologies include a Digital Twin of the tug to simulate vessel behavior in multiple scenarios and optimize vessel operations, as well as data analytics tools to improve the control and response of the tug. ABS will provide the Approval in Principle for the novel features such as Remote Navigation Control and Autonomous Control System.

    Keppel O&M is also partnering M1, another member of the Keppel Group, to leverage its ultra-low latency 4.5G network connectivity for the ship to shore communication needed to support mission-critical internet of things systems.


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