InCoreTec (Canada) has developed an Advanced Ship Autopilot System (ASAS), an innovative track-keeping autopilot for ships navigating in open and confined waters. Unlike existing autopilots, the ASAS utilizes advanced predictive artificial intelligence (PAI) technology to determine exactly how much rudder movement is needed to keep the ship on track. As a result, the ASAS can accurately maintain the vessel on its intended track with minimum rudder movements. This means reduced fuel consumption and sailing time as well as higher efficiency and increased safety.
The company has recently undertaken an extensive field-testing program onboard a 350,000-ton oil tanker to quantify fuel savings generated by ASAS operation. An Ultrasonic flow meter was installed on the tanker's fuel line to provide a continuous record of fuel consumption. Actual fuel savings were determined by comparing the amount of fuel the ship consumes while traveling a specific distance along the track while under the control of ASAS to the amount consumed while traveling an equal distance under the control of the existing autopilot under similar environmental conditions and engine RPM. The ASAS and the ship autopilot alternated control of the ship for an equal time interval ranging from 2 to 8 hours. The volume of consumed fuel per 100 nautical miles was used for comparison. To eliminate the effects of water currents on fuel consumption, fuel consumption per 100 nautical miles was used. The results of over 900 hours of testing indicated that, compared to the ship’s existing autopilot, the ASAS achieved significant reduction (up to 70%) in rudder movements. The results also showed fuel savings of 2% to 3% and a reduction in travel time of approximately 2%.
This proprietary technology enables InCoreTec to retrofit any existing autopilot or create a self-contained, stand-alone predictive autopilot for new large ship applications. InCoreTec is now licensing this unique, patented PAI technology across many technology platforms.