Wärtsilä ANCS (Automation, Navigation & Control Systems), a branch of Wärtsilä’s portfolio business, has announced the delivery of its SmartDock autodocking system to Seaspan with the aim of optimising maritime operations.

The system is designed to enable autonomous docking manoeuvres even in harsh environments with currents of up to two knots. This will further reduce human intervention.

The Seaspan Trader cargo vessel was recently commissioned and is scheduled to be equipped with the SmartDock technology in late 2023/early 2024 for maritime operations in British Columbia.

Wärtsilä ANCS director of dynamic positioning Klaus Egeberg emphasised how this partnership will advance automation in the maritime industry: “Wärtsilä ANCS is excited to continue supporting Seaspan and build on an already strong working relationship.

“We look forward to the potential implementation of the SmartDock product across some other vessels in Seaspan’s ferry fleet, further advancing the automation and efficiency of maritime operations.”

The Finnish maritime manufacturer has previously emphasised that AI and machine learning are technologies to “keep an eye on”.

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According to its machine learning insights, Wärtsilä highlighted changes to be made as an industry that moves 90% of the world’s goods and is still relying on a traditional approach to analytics.

This partnership follows the scope of work completed by Wärtsilä ANCS in 2021.

This involved delivering the autonomous SmartDock system, as well as track construction for autodocking at the Canadian ports of Tilbury, Duke Point and Swartz Bay.

Alex Treharne, integration engineer at Seaspan added: “Seaspan is proud to lead the charge in this technological advancement in vessel manoeuvring. The integration of Wärtsilä ANCS’s SmartDock system into Seaspan Trader exemplifies our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation in maritime operations.”