Harbour tug developed by Keppel O&M receives first ABS autonomous notation

Press Release: A remotely operated harbour tug developed by Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) is the first in the world to receive the ABS Autonomous Notation.


Already the holder of the first-ever ABS Remote-Control Navigation Notation, the 32-meter tug, which is owned and operated by Keppel Smit Towage, has now been recognized for its autonomous capabilities.


Supervised by an onboard tug master, the second phase of the pioneering project saw the vessel perform autonomous collision avoidance tasks.


The project was one of a series of industry-leading initiatives to inform the development of the recently published ABS Guide for Autonomous and Remote-Control Functions, which introduced the AUTONOMOUS and REMOTE-CON notation. The Guide sets out a goal-based framework for the implementation of these technologies on vessels and offshore units.


“Autonomous technology continues to advance at pace, and I am proud to say ABS is pioneering its development alongside forward-thinking clients such as Keppel. Together we have recorded another significant milestone on the path to this technology’s adoption by the global fleet and integration into day-to-day operations. We are developing the future of maritime operations with a focus on safety,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology.


Mr. Chris Ong, CEO of Keppel O&M, said: “With in-depth engineering expertise and extensive retrofitting experience, Keppel O&M is able to customize autonomous solutions for a range of vessels. This includes digitalizing onboard systems and processes, modifying the vessel, as well as integrating best-in-class technologies and enhanced systems connectivity.”


Mr. Romi Kaushal, Managing Director of Keppel Smit Towage, said: “We are proud to receive the world’s first Autonomous Notation from ABS. Autonomous and remote operations enhance the efficiency and safety of tug operations by adding value with additional traffic and situational operational information. This allows the tug captain and crew to focus on the more crucial tasks of safe tugging operations.”


The Guide’s goal-based framework also covers interactions with relevant stakeholders such as port authorities and other vessels. The Guide uses a risk-based approach to determine the requirements for the assessment and implementation of autonomous and remote-control functions.


Download a copy of the ABS Guide for Autonomous and Remote-Control Functions here. A copy of the ABS Whitepaper: Autonomous Vessels is available here.

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