WÄRTSILÄ’S OWN SHIP ENABLES TESTING AND DEMONSTRATION

Sep 6, 2022 | Marine electronics & digitalisation news

Wärtsilä Voyage has unveiled its new demonstrator and innovation vessel, ‘AHTI’, in which the company has created a seaborne environment where customers can test Wärtsilä Voyage’s own technologies, as well as its technology partners’ solutions.

Trials can now be conducted in changeable real-life sea conditions which can be difficult and costly to recreate in a laboratory environment. In its previous life, AHTI served as a German Government fishery patroller. AHTI was chosen as a target for retrofit technology installations to prove what is already technologically possible for the current fleet, and to create a platform for further innovation and development.

The creation of a floating R&D facility helps Wärtsilä Voyage to cut down the cost and time barriers associated with real-life tests, returning meaningful results on a much lower risk and cost base than going into full-scale testing directly. AHTI also creates a first-party resource where customers and technology partners can collaborate.

In the first half of 2022, AHTI’s bridge was upgraded with a number of products from Wärtsilä Voyage’s portfolio including Nacos Platinum, Specs and RS24. The vessel has been fitted with on-the-market partner technology products from Oscar and Drynet. Soon, Wärtsilä Voyage will be installing SceneScan, SmartMove, Remote Control and Satellite Connectivity onboard.

With this expansive breadth of technology onboard, AHTI is seen as a bridge to the highly automated, connected, situationally aware and data-enabled future for maritime that Wärtsilä Voyage is aiming to create.

Hendrik Bußhoff, Head of Product – Autonomous Systems, Wärtsilä Voyage, said: “Technology designed to solve the industry’s biggest challenges must be tested in situations that come as close as possible to real life scenarios. However, we understand that real world testing is costly and time consuming. Trialling new equipment almost always means testing it on a customer ship which can often bring with it a lot of obligations and questions about documentation, schedules, data ownership and compliance. This is why we invested in AHTI. We now have a resource that will shorten time-to-market, enable us to fail fast and innovate quicker, and compare and understand different technologies outside of controlled environments.”

Sean Fernback, President, Wärtsilä Voyage added: “In the last few years, the maritime industry has recognised the benefits of digitalisation, and how it can help organisations tackle the very biggest challenges that the sector faces. AHTI provides a powerful tool for testing the capabilities and benefits of a tech-enabled vessel and provides us with an environment in which we can see the future, today, on our terms. With AHTI, we look forward to working more closely with our customers and technology partners, as well as regulators, to shape the future of maritime, enabling us to move forward as an industry at pace.”

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