AI-Enhanced Navigation System Promises Safer Seas for Massive Ships

AI-Enhanced Navigation System Promises Safer Seas for Massive Ships

Maritime startup Orca AI is revolutionizing safety at sea with its AI-powered navigation system, SeaPod, which provides real-time video processing to assist crews in making data-driven decisions in congested waters and low-visibility conditions, according to the NVIDIA Technical Blog.

Innovative Technology Reduces Risk

SeaPod, the navigation module developed by Orca AI, is equipped with five HD cameras for daytime viewing and three thermal cameras for nighttime vision. This system can analyze and annotate live video even in foggy conditions, providing navigators with crucial insights about objects up to 8 nautical miles away. This annotated data, including information about other vessels’ relative size and speed, is displayed on a computer screen in the ship’s pilothouse.

AI-Powered Solutions

Orca AI is part of the NVIDIA Inception program for cutting-edge startups. Its cloud-connected, AI-powered navigation system operates using NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070s for inferencing and NVIDIA cuOpt for optimizing the most efficient path to a ship’s destinations. The company utilizes the NVIDIA GStreamer multimedia framework for video processing.

Addressing Maritime Challenges

Founded in 2018 by Dor Raviv and Yarden Gross, Orca AI leverages their experience in the Israeli Navy to address the needs of commercial shippers and naval planners. Raviv highlights that as more ships enter operation to meet rising consumer demand, waterways are becoming more congested, leading to an increase in safety incidents. Additionally, increased fuel consumption contributes to higher costs and larger CO2 emissions, with the shipping industry releasing 1.2 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere last year alone.

Environmental and Operational Benefits

Orca AI’s navigation system aims to make maritime navigation safer and more efficient, reducing the need for sudden evasive maneuvers, which burn extra fuel and increase CO2 emissions. Raviv notes that the company has already prevented more than 170,000 tons of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

Proven Efficacy

The SeaPod system is installed on more than 400 vessels, with over 1,000 ships expected to adopt the technology soon. Ships using the system have reported a 33% reduction in close encounters in open water and a 40% drop in crossing events. Earlier this year, NorthStandard, one of the world’s largest maritime insurers, announced plans to subsidize the cost of installing the SeaPod system due to its proven effectiveness.

Future Growth and Data Utilization

Orca AI’s ambitions continue to grow, with the company owning the world’s largest library of maritime video, which is used to train its AI systems further. This data helps fleet owners analyze ship and crew performance, identifying efficiencies and savings. Raviv emphasizes that the real-time analytics provided by Orca AI give fleet owners unprecedented visibility into their vessels, enhancing safety and operational efficiency.

For more information about the NVIDIA Inception program and how to become an Inception member, visit NVIDIA’s website.

Image source: Shutterstock

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