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Safety and ecology innovations in the maritime industry capital of Finland

The second day of the SHIFT Business Festival program had a strong focus on the importance of new technologies for the maritime industry. Speakers highlighted automation, optimization and more ecological solutions as growing trends for the industry. This will also create opportunities for entirely new business in the field.

“One technology area which has started to gain traction in the last few years is the use of IoT solutions in asset management and monitoring, for example in obtaining information on vessel equipment health and energy efficiency, and related optimization of operations,” Jussi Poikonen from Awake AI said in a press conference on the previous day.

Successfully implementing new technologies in the industry requires collaboration on a new scale. According to Lasse Eriksson from Kalmar Global, the need for machine learning and digital solutions brings different stakeholders together, creating opportunities for new players in the maritime industry. “New players, lots of start-up activities, and eco-efficient solutions have emerged,” Eriksson said.

Machine learning makes it possible to optimize subprocesses, which in turn allows for improving a ship’s systems to a point that a human cannot achieve. In the future, automation will affect required crew sizes, how technology can be used to assist the crew in their tasks, how ports are run and how they should be equipped.

“The most forward-thinking players in the maritime industry are already planning for the arrival of autonomous and remote controlled vessels. This will have a major impact on port and ship operations, and the whole maritime logistics chain,” Poikonen said. “Even before large-scale adoption of autonomous maritime systems, related technology development will enable improved overall situational awareness in ports and at sea.”

The importance of situational awareness was brought up also on Friday in OrcaAI’s Dor Raviv’s keynote. Through reducing human errors and emissions, optimizing routes and fuel consumption, equipping ships with sensors and cameras can lead to improvements in both safety and eco-efficiency.

Text: Miia-Tatjaana Salakka & Vilma Savolainen
Photo: Julius Töyrylä