Data, drones surface as potential game-changers in maritime

drone use in maritime industry CSC Blogs

Earlier this year, the Danish government took a big step toward embracing and enabling emerging tech in the maritime industry.

With a “wish to contribute to the data-driven and digital development” of the industry, the government made data sets available for download by the general public. The free public data ranges from geodata on anchorages to regatta lanes and ship routes in Danish waters. For a fee, users can buy “high-quality position data” in raw form.

It’s such a smart and interesting move that clearly recognizes the data-driven nature of business today. Seemingly, the government also understands the value big data analytics brings to everyone: from vessels and organizations, to government and individuals.

As the country’s minister for Business and Growth, Troels Lund Poulsen, said, “It is my hope that maritime companies, entrepreneurs and all Danes using the sea will make use of the data available – for example to create new applications, services and analyses that can contribute to growth throughout Blue Denmark.”

Clearly, Poulsen and his colleagues recognize that technology’s role in the maritime industry is changing. And this goes beyond big data to include Internet of Things, mobility and so many other areas.

For one example, consider a mobile app that uses IoT data to help ferries get safely through a highly trafficked strait in Norway. Called REX, the app reads onboard sensors and provides real-time info to the captain of the vessel, as well as other ferries in the fleet. This helps vessels communicate their location and, more importantly, their intentions, with the goal of avoiding collisions.

Another neat area being explored is drones. Also called unmanned aerial systems, these eyes-in-the-sky have great potential for business applications. In maritime, people are exploring ways to use them to:

  • Resupply vessels at sea
  • Conduct ship, port and terminal inspections
  • Stay abreast of weather conditions
  • Perform offshore inspection work

This article in MarineLink goes into fascinating detail.

Of course, to make use of these technologies, maritime organizations need to start or continue the process of digitally transforming their IT approach with investments in cloud, modern platforms, digital applications, software-defined networks,  mobility, modern workplace and other tools that enable next-gen approaches.

With a digital base, the sea of opportunity and possibility is wide and deep, and we’re only at the shoreline.

Over the next few months, I’ll be discussing the process of IT modernisation in the maritime industry and hopefully bring to light some new ways of thinking about this industry. Join me on the journey, and please add your thoughts here on the blog space or by connecting with me on social media (LinkedIn). I look forward to interacting!

Anna Cebaseva, a CSC client relationship executive supporting global engagements in maritime, brings a new perspective to this historic industry. As the only services integrator with a dedicated maritime focus, CSC offers leading solutions to maritime organisations navigating the journey to the digital enterprise.


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