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Top 10 technologies in maritime 2018

Throughout 2017, we saw an acceleration in the digital transformation of the maritime industry with an ever increasing focus on digitalisation and new technologies. However, before we move on to the latest news on the technology trends for 2018, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the many developments we have seen in the past year.

  • Rolls-Royce partnered with Google to study autonomous shipping, and introduced Augmented Reality software as part of their remote operation solutions.
  • Online retail giant Amazon became a licensed freight forwarder, and Alibaba partnered with container operators Maersk, CMA CGM and COSCO.
  • Wärtsilä launched their first Digital Acceleration Centre in Helsinki, and DNV GL and Kongsberg introduced digital platforms Veracity and Kognifai.
  • Maersk used a IBM blockchain technology platform to digitalise trade, and also took steps to place their marine insurance on a blockchain platform.
  • The very same Maersk experienced the greatest cyber attack in maritime history costing them USD 300 Million in business interruption and lost revenue.
  • Tech startup Wave reduced the processing time for a letter of credit from 10 days to 2.5 hours using a blockchain platform in partnership with BBVA.
  • The same team from Wave also completed a blockchain pilot for paperless bills of lading in cooperation with container operator ZIM.
  • Shipyard Damen 3D-printed and installed a BV classed propeller on a tug currently in operation, a major step forward in the use of additive manufacturing in shipping.
  • Yara and Kongsberg launched the Yara Birkeland concept vessel, which will hit the water this year and become the worlds first fully autonomous vessel by 2020.
  • Wilhelmsen commenced testing of drone deliveries to vessels, and DNV GL carried out their first drone inspections of vessels, and began issuing electronic certificates.

And the list could go on and on as 2017 was the year that we saw the largest number of technological developments in any one year in maritime history. This rollercoaster of a year has left me very excited about the future of our great industry, which again takes us back to the starting point of this article; The top 10 technologies in maritime 2018.

In a recent article published in Marine Electronics we can read about the top ten technologies they expect to shake up the maritime industry in 2018. The different technologies listed in the article include some of those that I have already touched on above, such as Blockchain, Augmented Reality, Autonomous Vessels, and Drones. However it also includes Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Virtual Reality, Robotics, and Wearable Technologies (“Cyborg Crew”).

The author expects each of these technologies to have a major impact on the maritime industry in 2018 as well as have prolonged ramifications for its future. As we have seen in the summary of 2017, some of these technologies are already well advanced and in operational use in shipping today, while others are still in an early development fase. The author does, however, point out that the majority of these technologies are already in use in other industries and just need a trigger for them to be adopted in maritime.

These are truly exciting times for the maritime industry!
Source: Ronny Waage, Business Development, Market Research, Maritime & Tech, Singapore & APAC

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