First auto-docking system now available

Wärtsilä has developed the first commercially available auto-docking system Wärtsilä has developed the first commercially available auto-docking system

Technology group Wärtsilä has secured its first order for its SmartDock auto-docking system claiming to be the first in the world to make such a system commercially available.

By automating docking procedures, the company says its SmartDock system mitigates potential human errors resulting from ship officers having to perform technical manoeuvres many times a day.

The captain can select the destination and the SmartDock system will take over with the ship leaving the dock, manoeuvring out of the harbour, sailing to the next port of call, manoeuvring into the harbour and docking alongside the quay, all without human intervention.

“The SmartDock solution is the culmination of decades of extensive research and testing by Wärtsilä in automation technology,” said Joonas Makkonen, VP, voyage solutions, Wärtsilä. “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.”

Successful sea trials have been carried out onboard the ‘Folgefonn’, an 85m long ferry owned by Norwegian operator Norled.

The testing also included operating the automatic 180° rotational turn of the vessel, as well as Wärtsilä Guidance Marine’s CyScan AS with GeoLock technology, a crucial cyber-security enhancing secondary position sensor, which enables the approach to the berth to continue even if the GPS signal is lost.

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