(CASTINE, Maine) — Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) has partnered with SailPlan, a maritime technology startup based in Reston, Va., to accelerate the development of an intelligent vessel’s development navigation platform and shoreside vessel control.
MMA will equip its fleet, including R/V Quickwater, an autonomous 41-foot workboat, with SailPlan’s intelligent navigation platform. SailPlan will provide real-time fleet location and health monitoring to MMA’s Shore Control Center, resulting in vessel telemetry being made available shoreside. SailPlan’s cloud-based route exchange capability will allow autonomous vessels to proactively mitigate collision risks while optimizing routing for efficiency.
“This partnership is an example of our strategic focus on faculty research,” said Dr. Keith Williamson, MMA’s new vice president for academic affairs. “It will impact the future of the industry we serve while bringing real-world experience into the classroom.”
SailPlan’s navigation platform increases safety by capturing and analyzing data around vessel traffic, weather, berth availability and geographic awareness to provide unparalleled situational awareness, resulting in the ability to proactively optimize voyage plans, avoid congested waters, and separate from potential collision scenarios to a far greater degree than possible with current market solutions.
“I am excited for our students and for MMA,” said Jennifer Norwood, assistant professor of marine transportation. “We have the opportunity to help shape this new technology and put our students at the forefront of advanced navigation development in the maritime industry.”
“The future of safe navigation rests on digital enablement and vessel connectivity. Our partnership will accelerate the adoption of these foundational, safety-critical technologies that provide advanced collision avoidance, intelligent vessel routing, and increased insight shoreside,” said SailPlan’s CEO, Jacob Ruytenbeek. “MMA has been an incredible partner for SailPlan. We look forward to seeing how this partnership impacts mariner safety and operator efficiency.”
– Maine Maritime Academy