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SG testing 7-module project set to automate port operations

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and IT company IBM announced the joint completion of the pilot trial for three modules under the MPA-IBM SAFER project, which will be rolled out progressively beginning September 2017.

Project SAFER, derived from “Sense-making Analytics For Maritime Event Recognition,” is a collaboration between MPA and IBM to develop and test new analytics-based technologies aimed at improving maritime and port operations to support increasing growth in Singapore’s vessel traffic.

Altogether, there are seven modules under Project SAFER which offer a host of new capabilities for automating and increasing the accuracy of critical tasks that rely on human observation, reporting, very high frequency communication, and data entry, said MPA in a release.

These modules are automated movement detection, infringement analytics, pilot boarding detection, bunkering analytics, prohibited area analytics, vessel traffic arrival prediction, and utilization detection and prediction.

The three modules with completed pilot trial are automated movement detection, infringement analytics, and pilot boarding detection. The rest of the modules will be rolled out by January 2018.

The automated movement detection module reduces radio communication between MPA control center and ship masters, and eliminates the need to enter ship movement details by automatically detecting the start/end time and location of vessel in real time.

Meanwhile, the infringement analytics modules help MPA port inspectors detect suspicious or abnormal vessel behavior through alerts sent to them. This enables them to take a more targeted approach when conducting inspection, improving efficiency of their daily routine.

The pilot boarding detection module enables MPA to automatically detect pilot boarding time, validating PSA Marine’s pilotage service level. The system will also facilitate dispute resolution.

“We will continue to develop our digital strategies through the use of data analytics and machine-learning technologies to optimize our port operations and enforcement to meet existing as well as future demands,” said Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA.

“The SAFER project will enable us to reap immediate benefits especially in the areas of next-generation port enforcement and monitoring of vessel movements,” he added.

MPA and IBM are still developing and testing the other four modules to provide advanced information on traffic density within Singapore port waters, detect illegal bunkering activities, detect vessels moving into prohibited areas, and predict vessel arrival time.

Photo: Jacklee

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