Trial proves power of AI ship collision risk prediction technology

Human centric AI. Credit Fujitsu

The power of new technology that leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict near misses between vessels has been proven in a recent trial conducted by Japanese ICT giant Fujitsu with the assistance of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

‘Fujitsu Human Centric AI Zinrai’ was developed by Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd as a solution to detect ship collision risks and predict areas where collision risks are concentrated as dynamic risk hotspots.

Testing of the technology was conducted with the assistance of 10 MPA officers from the Vessel Traffic Management Department and Port Systems Division over a 24-month period. Using past traffic data for the Singapore Strait Fujitsu trialed the AI-powered technology in extracting information such as examples of collisions or near misses involving multiple vessels, as well as examples of developing dynamic risk hotspots. The prediction technology was benchmarked to human operators.

Results confirmed the Fujitsu Human Centric AI Zinrai system could play a key role in assisting maritime traffic controllers in managing marine traffic proactively with the aim of improving the safety of navigation. During the trial, Fujitsu’s risk detection technology demonstrated the possibility of quantifying risk in more detail in advance of the detection by human operators and has the potential to be deployed in a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) systems.

VTS centres that manage marine traffic rely on anti-collision warning in VTS systems, which uses the closest point of approach techniques, to detect and notify ships when vessels get unusually close to one another. As vessel operations and interactions become more complex, the ability to detect and predict vessel movements in advance, especially in high density vessel traffic areas like Singapore, is key to managing and reducing collision risks.

Based on the benchmarking studies conducted, the detection technology was able to flag potential risks approximately 10 minutes before the near-miss, and in doing so, would theoretically provide approximately 5 minutes lead time for human operators to execute the necessary follow on action. Fujitsu’s technology was also able to pick out scenarios where the collision risk could be overlooked and raise the alert to a possible collision incident. Separately, the dynamic risk hotspot detection technology could detect risks up to 15 minutes in advance, enabling staff to take specific measures to avoid an incident.

Following the results of this trial, Fujitsu will continue working with MPA Singapore to improve the technology. In an official press release they stated that they aim to deliver services incorporating this technology for maritime traffic controllers and ship operators by 2020.