SmartQuay solution = Faster, safer docking

5 min read

03 Oct 2018


Ziko Ray


AdobeStock, Wärtsilä

5 min read

03 Oct 2018


Ziko Ray


AdobeStock, Wärtsilä

The shipping industry is witnessing rapid transformation. Vessel manufacturers are crafting gigantic cargo and cruise vessels with huge payload capacities and leveraging state of the art technologies.

And while the trend of building mammoth cargo and cruise vessels is ballooning, the challenges associated with faster and safer docking, particularly during rough weather conditions are mounting proportionally.

Need of the hour

‘’Vessels are getting larger and the designs more advanced, often to maximise space for passengers (for example extending panorama decks beyond the vessel hull) thereby obstructing the view from the bridge.  The skipper has to be very experienced, estimating the approach distances, speed and relative heading by sight. This is especially challenging when under time pressure or in poor conditions,’’ says Milijan Mudrinic, Software Technologies Group Manager, Guidance Marine.

To solve this pivotal challenge, Guidance Marine’s proficient workforce developed SmartQuay solution which furnishes reliable and accurate measurements to quay fenders for a wide range of conditions.

The solution also assists the skipper with augmented reality video feeds, ensuring pinpoint accuracy.

“SmartQuay has been trialled over an eight-week period and we have achieved excellent initial results. We are now working with our current customers as well as other potential early adopters for various retro-fit opportunities as well as fleet-wide adoptions and integration into NACOS Platinum,’’ says Mudrinic.

SmartQuay solution faster, safer docking1

SmartQuay solution uses real-time video analytics from daylight and thermal infrared cameras to give a precise gap measurement between the vessel hull and the quayside.

Deployment costs and compatibility

According to Mudrinic, the most complex deployment of the solutions includes four separate sensor pods installed on the bridge and at the stern (two ports and two starboards).

Each pod incorporates a vision and a thermal sensor powered and connected via Ethernet cable only. The installation is straightforward for new builds as part of the normal network cabling or even for retrofit opportunities where spare cable capacity can usually be used.

‘’In any case, we work closely with our expert colleagues from Wärtsilä APSS team to manage all aspects of such installations including the bridge mounting of displays and the video analytics server which contains all the smart software. The installation and commissioning do not require dry docking and the sensor bracket deployment can usually be completed in a single port call,’’ adds Mudrinic.

SmartQuay solution faster, safer docking2

SmartQuay delivers an accurate gap measurement between
the vessel and the nearest extended object.  

The future of SmartQuay

On the compatibility front, Guidance Marine is confident that the SmartQuay system should, in principle, be compatible with all cruise vessels as long as the physical installation is possible. 

‘’For other vessels, including merchant container vessels, which have different layouts to large cruise vessels, we are also considering a simplified, lower cost system which uses fewer high definition measurement pods but then augments the system with more cameras and additional augmented reality overlays to provide more of a “surround” or “birds-eye” view,’’ adds Mudrinic.

With more ships sailing across the length and breadth of oceans, a more sophisticated marine traffic management has emerged and Guidance Marine’s SmartQuay solution is the first step towards modernising this process.