IntelliTug Project – Wärtsilä and PSA Marine develop autonomous harbor tug

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The global leader in smart technologies for the marine and energy markets, Wärtsilä, in collaboration with the leading harbor and terminal towage operator in Singapore, PSA Marine, has achieved a breakthrough in its IntelliTug project. Following the successful installation of a first-of-its-kind Dynamic Positioning (DP) system onboard the harbor tug PSA Polaris, trials are now being carried out in the Port of Singapore under real-world conditions.

This phase of the project implementation, which has been approved by Lloyd’s Register, moves the bar higher on safety standards for vessel automation and autonomy. The Wärtsilä and PSA Marine IntelliTug project is also supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

The new DP system, also known as the Joystick Maneuvering System (JMS), enables easier and more intuitive control of the tug’s movement. With the push of a button, the tug master can achieve ‘virtual anchoring’ to hold position and/or maintain the tug’s heading. The DP system also forms the foundational technology layer for the IntelliTug project, enabling digital navigation instructions to be passed to the vessel’s propulsion systems. The system has received a Statement of Compliance from Lloyd’s Register for the DP notation, thereby endorsing its safety, reliability & performance.

The PSA Marine’s tug masters involved in the IntelliTug project underwent simulation and onboard training before commencing actual operating trials onboard PSA Polaris. Wärtsilä and PSA Marine will continue the development of the IntelliTug project throughout the coming months, including physical test-bedding and trials in Singapore port waters.