Press Release: BMT Awarded New Funding for Autonomous Navigation

Press release from BMT:

BMT will take the lead in a new £1.2million research project funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.  Collaborating with ASV Global and Deimos Space UK, BMT will seek to address the challenge of how traditional manned vessels can co-exist with autonomous systems in shared water space.  Deimos Space UK, the British subsidiary of Elecnor Deimos, will investigate how the exploitation of existing and future satellite capabilities can contribute to this objective.

The SWANS (Shared Waterspace Autonomous Navigation by Satellite) project will, for the first time, enable beyond line of sight, over the horizon, autonomous behaviour by unmanned surface vessels in areas of congested maritime traffic.

Phil Thompson, Managing Director at BMT comments: “Currently, autonomous vessels largely use AIS as a collision avoidance tool but remain at risk of colliding with vessels or objects not using AIS.  Others rely upon waterspace management and the actions of other water users to avoid collisions – neither of which go far enough in reducing the risk of a collision occurring.  This funding is critical in helping us to overcome this barrier by developing the first ever commercially ready, safe over the horizon operating system for congested waterspaces.”

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