Industry first assisted docking system

assisted docking The Assisted Docking system gives the captain better control when docking a boat. Photo: Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta has announced the commercial availability of the industry’s first fully integrated assisted docking system, offering better control and easier docking.

The 'Assisted Docking' system gives the captain better control when docking a boat by automating his or her intentions, compensating for some dynamic variables, such as wind and current, and helping the vessel stay on its intended course. The system consists of the joystick that controls the steering input and the GPS-based Dynamic Positioning System antenna to know the exact position and heading. The captain maneuvers the vessel with the joystick – thereby informing the system which direction it should head in and at what speed.

“Assisted Docking is a hybrid between automated docking and manual docking,” said Ida Sparrefors, director of autonomous solutions and new business models at Volvo Penta. “Even though, in some ways, it would have been easier to implement full automation, the beauty of this system is that it gives the captain enhanced control.”

The Assisted Docking system integrates a software layer developed in house with the company’s GPS-based Dynamic Positioning System and proprietary Inboard Performance Systems (IPS) for a complete package including HMI (human-machine interface) at the helm, electronics via the engine, propulsion systems and sensors, plus advanced navigation processing power.

The Assisted Docking system will be available in spring 2021.

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