Wärtsilä SmartMove Suite

Wärtsilä SmartMove Suite

Wärtsilä SmartMove Suite brings together tools using automated capabilities to assist the crew with challenging maneuvers such as harbor entering, docking, or quay-to-quay transit. Advanced motion prediction provides the operator with complete overview and full control over each vessel’s movement enhancing situational awareness and improving the safety of operations.

Full maneuvering of the vessel is automatically controlled by the software. However, manual intervention and control is possible at any time. The automatic function allows the ship’s officers to focus on situational awareness outside the wheelhouse, improving the reliability of the operations. By providing consistent and repeatable operations the Smart Suite systems increase safety and reduce fuel consumption.

Wärtsilä SmartMove Suite

Pioneering the deployment of intelligent navigation

A waterway named ‘Crooked River’ by Native Americans may not seem like the natural place to test navigational technology. But while other vessel autonomy trials seek out calm and quiet stretches of open water, Great Lakes shipowner American Steamship Company (ASC) had a different idea. The result was a challenging testbed for Wärtsilä Voyage’s SmartMove Suite and a pioneering deployment of intelligent navigation systems.

Interview with Dave Foster, CEO and Pierre Pelletreau, VP of Engineering, at Rand ASC Holdings LLC


Wärtsilä SmartDrive – Vessel control in your hand

Wärtsilä SmartDrive provides simplified control of vessel movement, and basic station-keeping ability. Vessel speed and Rate of Turn are controlled directly allowing the vessel to stay in one position when the joystick is centered, even with the presence of wind and current. 

With fewer control handles the operator can focus more on the situation surrounding the vessel and less on which handle does what, improving operational safety.

  • Allows easy and intuitive single handed vessel control
  • Improves situational awareness by reducing mental load on operators
  • Provides basic station keeping

Wärtsilä SmartDock -
Consistent, repeatable and efficient port moves

Wärtsilä SmartDock provides docking, undocking and transit for ferries and other vessels on repeated itineraries. By providing consistent and repeatable docking, the system enhances the capabilities of the crew, increases safety, reduces fuel consumption and vessel wear and tear.

Wärtsilä SmartDock is the world’s first market-ready step towards realizing the full potential of vessel autonomy through the provision of docking sensors, dynamic positioning and automated technology for seamless, hands-off mooring operation.            

Smartdock monitoring

Once configured in the system, the approach and departure from the same berth becomes repeatable.  The system automatically follows the same track of waypoints. This results in safer, repeatable docking sequences that are on par with the work of the most astute captain on a good day. The intuitive task-focused UX makes for easy human-computer interaction and manual intervention. SmartDock reduces mooring time allowing for focus on other tasks at hand.

Efficiency and safety are of paramount importance. By automating docking procedures, the Wärtsilä SmartDock system mitigates potential human errors resulting from ship officers having to perform these technical manoeuvres many times a day. This is especially important on, for example, larger ferries that must enter and leave tight docking spaces, where significant damage can be caused by forceful collisions with the dock walls.

Following rigorous, successful testing of the SmartDock auto-docking solution together with partners and customers, Wärtsilä has secured the first orders for the system.

The Wärtsilä SmartDock solution is the culmination of decades of extensive research and testing by Wärtsilä in automation technology. Our system draws on similar automation and positioning technology used by oil rig support vessels to maintain proximity to the rig in the toughest sea environments. This gives us absolute confidence in SmartDock’s ability to meet the urgent commercial need to provide the safest possible docking for commuter ferries
Sean Fernback, President Marine Voyage, Wärtsilä
Sean Fernback

Wärtsilä SmartDock – now commercially available for autonomous dock to dock voyages

The successful sea trials were carried out onboard the ‘Folgefonn’, an 85 metre long ferry owned by Norwegian operator Norled. The testing also included operating the automatic 180-degree rotational turn of the vessel, as well as Wärtsilä Guidance Marine’s CyScan AS with GeoLock technology, a crucial cyber-security enhancing secondary position sensor, which enables the approach to the berth to continue even if the GPS signal is lost.

We continue to be impressed with the Wärtsilä SmartDock system, which is unique in that it works hand-in-hand with the captain to ensure the best performance on every docking, every day. It’s the perfect collaboration between an experienced crew and technology.
Inge Andre Utåker, Regional director, Norled

Rigorous testing, prototyping and simulations – 

Led by Wärtsilä Marine and its Dynamic Positioning Inc. subsidiary in San Diego, California, the prototype auto-docking system was successfully tested on the Norwegian ro-ro passenger ship Folgefonn, first out in the open water on a simulated dock in January 2018, and then again in Stord harbour, Norway, in April 2018.

Extensive testing of the system was key to confirming that the combination of sensors, control system, and steering and propulsion, was sufficient to precisely guide the ferry during docking. This work – calibrating and tuning thrusters and control systems, processing of sensor data, and developing simplified user interfaces - is what makes Wärtsilä Dynamic Positioning a leader in the field.

The procedure meant that the system was activated some 2000 metres from the berth and the vessel continued at normal transit speed. The system then performed a gradual slowing of speed, and automatically activated the line-up and docking manoeuvre until the ship was secured at the berth. When the ship was ready to sail again, the system was used for the departure procedure in an identical but reverse manner.

Full manoeuvring of the vessel, including the steerage and propulsion, was automatically controlled by the software. However, manual intervention and control was possible at any time. The automatic function allowed the ship’s officers to focus on situational awareness outside the wheelhouse, thereby improving the safety and reliability of operations.

Wärtsilä’s auto-docking technology delivers notable benefits to operators. These include improved safety since there is less likelihood of human error; less wear and tear since the thrusters are efficiently utilised; and greater efficiency in docking which allows for more time at berth.

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Experience 360 degrees of real autonomous operations! In November 2018, Wärtsilä successfully tested its automated dock-to-dock solution, with uninterrupted, independent operations throughout the voyage.

Wärtsilä’s vision of a Smart Marine ecosystem

Wärtsilä SmartDock represents an important element within Wärtsilä’s overall Smart Marine vision as the corporation seeks to enhance safety, boost efficiency and abate the environmental impact of shipping through the use of connectivity and digitalisation. 
The world is moving towards a future that is more and more connected, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the shipping sector. The opportunities offered through smart technology will foster a new era of collaboration and knowledge sharing with customers, suppliers and partners.
Roger Holm, President, Marine Business, Wärtsilä
Roger Holm

Wärtsilä SmartEntry -
Lining up for clean, safe lock transit

Wärtsilä SmartEntry provides automated alignment for lock and restricted harbor entrances. This reduces the potential for vessel contact with the lock and improves entry efficiency and repeatability.

Combining advanced maneuvering software and positioning sensors, Wärtsilä SmartEntry aligns a vessel’s track precisely for lock entry.

  • Provides repeatable and measurable entries through automated control
Wartsila SmartPredict

Wärtsilä SmartPredict -
Predicting the Future for Safer Moves

Wärtsilä SmartPredict offers the latest advancements in vessel motion prediction. Incorporating a full mathematical model of the ship into the software allows more precise prediction of vessel movement.

Operators can visually see the impact of their actions on screen making maneuvering safer. Adding this functionality to any existing Wärtsilä DP system provides safer and more efficient vessel operations by:

  • Displaying the vessel’s predicted future position and heading
  • Using proven DP analysis algorithms to evaluate forces affecting the vessel providing advanced motion prediction
  • Configurable prediction time display

Wärtsilä SmartCommand – Remote control and diagnostics

Wärtsilä SmartCommand allows true remote control of vessels from connected locations. Using existing network connectivity including 4G, WIFI and satellite communications, complete vessel control is possible from remote terminals. Using a land-based operator terminal, remote vessel control is virtually the same as being onboard. The same user interface is presented just as if another operator workstation was onboard. This was successfully tested over an 8,000 km distance in August 2017. 
  • Allows remote control of automated system in hazardous operations
  • Allows for remote testing of certain vessel operations.
  • Provides for quick diagnostics without the need to send a service technician out to the vessel
  • Basis for remote annual testing and support


Sailing straight and true on Crooked...

The largest vessel ever to perform an automated dock-to-dock transit was a testbed for Wärtsilä Voyage’s...
19 January 2021
  • Smart voyage

The world’s first auto-docking system

Wärtsilä's SmartDock is the world’s first commercially available auto-docking solution.
3 June 2019
  • Press release

Auto-docking - a giant leap for merchant...

Along the coast of Norway, science-fiction meets reality as Wärtsilä tests its new auto-docking solution...
21 February 2019
  • Twentyfour7. article

Auto-docking ferry successfully tested...

The combination of auto-docking and wireless charging on a ferry, a world first, could make things a...
27 April 2018
  • Twentyfour7. article

Wärtsilä remote controls an 80 m ship...

A team from Wärtsilä Dynamic Positioning remote controlled a platform supply vessel in the North Sea...
25 October 2017
  • Twentyfour7. article

Predicting an autonomous future

SmartPredict is Wärtsilä’s latest innovation improving the safety and efficiency of vessel manoeuvring...
13 March 2017
  • Twentyfour7. article

Press releases

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