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Safetytech Accelerator announces a collaboration to improve ship handling at sea


Safetytech Accelerator is very pleased to announce a collaboration with The Nautical Institute, Anglo-Eastern, Teekay Gas and MOL-LNG to explore Virtual Reality (VR) solutions to improve ship handling capabilities at sea.

For many years, improving ship handling skills has been deemed as a top priority for professional development amongst junior and senior seafarers. The problem is, it’s not that easy to get experience – and experience is the best way to improve.

Many masters and pilots categorize ship handling as a complex art, and they are right in doing so. This is because ship handling is not just about the ability to manoeuvre a ship by manipulating controllable forces such as the rudder, engines, thrusters and anchors. It is also very much about the understanding of how the ship will behave when unforeseen external forces such as wind and current are in play.

It takes around ten years for Pilots and Masters to feel fully confident to travel anywhere with any ship. However, in today’s current climate, junior and senior officers don’t get many opportunities to practice ship handling while on active service, and typically simulator training only occurs every five years. Operational efficiency, wastage of fuel, tight ship schedules and the impact on the environment are just a few commercial realities responsible for the decrease in these opportunities.

There is strong concern that the lack of practice means seafarers are not as confident as they would want to be in their ability to perform common manoeuvres and even less confident in those performed infrequently, such as anchoring.

About the collaboration

Safetytech Accelerator has teamed up with The Nautical Institute, Anglo-Eastern, Teekay Gas and MOL-LNG to explore Virtual Reality (VR) solutions with the aim of improving ship handling capabilities at sea.

Kilo has been selected by the Safetytech Accelerator to develop VR training that builds confidence in a user’s ability to understand how controllable ship capabilities are utilized to counter external forces of nature. As modern VR technology has come on in leaps and bounds and capabilities have increased exponentially over the last few years, this project will focus on an immersive learning experience.

The training will be accessed via Oculus Quest and will allow the user to experience wind, tide, drift and momentum while manoeuvring in a restricted space.

Steve Price, Head of Partnerships of Safetytech Accelerator had this to say about the collaboration, ”We are pleased to be working with the The Nautical Institute and leading ship operators Anglo Eastern, MOL-LNG and Teekay Gas while they explore the possibilities of modern gaming platforms and VR headsets to give a real world training experience that is available to all.”

David Patraiko, Director of Projects at The Nautical Institute, says “Like learning to drive a car, there is no replacement for learning from experience. For mariners, opportunities for ‘test drives’ are limited due to commercial realities. Given the critical safety impact of good ship handling skills, this collaboration with the Safetytech Accelerator will explore how we can leverage emerging technologies to bridge this gap and make ship handling experience available and accessible to all.”

Andy Parkin, MD of Kilo, says “We are trying to build a ship handling VR solution that is credible, capable and affordable. It is a perfect fit for this collaboration and we really look forward to seeing the results of this project and the impact VR can make on the safety and efficiency of ship handling”.

Watch this space for more information and developments as the project progresses.


Notes to editors

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About Safetytech Accelerator

The Safetytech Accelerator is a non-profit established by Lloyd’s Register and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. It is the first fully dedicated technology accelerator focused on safety and risk in industrial sectors. Their mission is to make the world safer and more sustainable through wider adoption of safetytech.

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About The Nautical Institute

The Nautical Institute is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Their aim is to promote professionalism, best practice and safety throughout the maritime industry and to represent the interests of their members.

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About Kilo

Kilo create contemporary communication and training solutions for the maritime sector. They are focused on helping their clients achieve safe, secure, and competent working environments.

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