Finnish cruise operator Eckerö Line has reached an agreement with tech firm ABB to deploy its situational awareness technology on the MS Finlandia ferry.

Known as ABB Ability Marine Pilot Vision, the solution will enable the ferry to help boost operational safety, particularly during docking and in busy waterways.

Eckerö Group technical manager Daniel Olsén said: “Our goal is to improve environmental performance and safety, and we worked with ABB to achieve greater efficiency in docking and high-traffic situations.

“Our customers demand high levels of safety in all conditions and this solution enables our crew to provide a reliable service that doesn’t compromise their expectations.”

As well as providing a mechanical interface, ABB Marine and Ports Digital Service teams will support the crew to integrate the solution as an additional tool with their existing bridge team operations.

The new solution provides multiple visualisations of a vessel’s surroundings in real-time.

“Our customers demand high levels of safety in all conditions and this solution enables our crew to provide a reliable service that doesn’t compromise their expectations.”

Once the ABB Ability Marine Pilot Vision is installed, a virtual model of the ship is created with real surroundings measured using various sensor technologies.

This will help to monitor the vessel and its surroundings closely.

The solution supports easy prediction of vessel motions and provides the user with the capability to view obstacles that were hidden previously.

ABB Marine and Ports global service head Jyri Jusslin said: “Digitalisation provides solutions for existing and newbuild ships alike.

“This retrofit does exactly that. Enhancing docking safety and efficiency will also allow Finlandia’s crew to support their schedule in conditions that can vary from bright sunlight to dark icy conditions throughout the year.”

The cruise ferry MS Finlandia makes return voyages three times daily between Helsinki in Finland and Tallinn in Estonia.