- DFDS’ ro-ro Selandia Seaways – which operates on a busy and challenging route – has been retrofitted with smart technology to provide 360° situational awareness
- Smart Panoramic Edge Camera System (SPECS) eliminates blind spots by providing a 360° vessel view, in turn enhancing safety and efficiency, as well as enabling crew on board to make better operational decisions that are based on real-time data
Wärtsilä Voyage, part of the technology group Wärtsilä, has installed its cutting-edge SPECS solution onboard Selandia Seaways, a 197m ro-ro ferry owned and operated by DFDS, to augment crew situational awareness and enhance the safety and efficiency of its navigation and docking procedures.
Operating a congested route – often in challenging conditions, between Cuxhaven, Germany and Immingham, UK – Selandia Seawayswas the ideal vessel for the initial deployment of SPECS. The Selandia Seaways crew have worked with Wärtsilä Voyage to ensure the SPECS user interface is simple and meet their needs. The crew now benefits from a full overview of the vessel’s position in just one image, allowing for total focus on safety during critical procedures at the start and end of every voyage.
Mads Bentzen Billesø, Head of Innovation & Partnerships at DFDS said: “Many of our vessels operate in narrow and congested waters, where situational awareness and 360-degree vision is crucial. Access to a full and high-res image of the vessel and its surroundings, as well as exact distances to important objects around the vessel, all in real-time, is a very powerful tool. This supports our crew members and captains in making the right operational decisions in even the most challenging situations based on data, improving efficiency and safety.”
SPECS is a smart technology system, spanning cameras, augmented reality and data integration. The vessel was fitted with four robust super-wide cameras, providing 360-degree awareness, including a bird’s eye view, to eliminate blind spots. Regardless of weather and available light, SPECS’ motion stabilisation, vibration cushioning, and automatic camera cleaning offers Selandia Seaways’ crew clear visibility. The system’s calibrated grid also provides the exact distance between the vessel and the quayside and other objects in real-time, which is especially useful when docking.
SPECS’ augmented reality functionality supports operational decision-making by superimposing navigation data onto the video stream provided by the cameras in real time. Potential hazards can therefore be identified before they become a danger, which gives the crew more time to react and adapt, reducing the risk of accidents. The technology also includes a post-voyage incident investigation tool, creating a valuable source of training and enabling learnings to be gathered from real-life events.
Sasha Heriot, Head of Product, Assistance Systems, Wärtsilä Voyage commented: “It has been excellent to be able to build such a strong partnership with DFDS. The Wärtsilä Voyage team had a good dialogue with the crew, discussing how to clearly display critical information, making sure the system is easy-to-use, and ensuring the interface is tailored to seafarers’ specific needs. SPECS provides invaluable situational data that can help DFDS with both improving operational safety and efficiency on Selandia Seaways, as well as with decisions around future technological deployments.”
The adoption of SPECS comes after long-term collaboration between DFDS and Wärtsilä on a variety of digitalisation, automation and decarbonisation initiatives.