Singapore to use technology to enhance maritime safety
On 20 June, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced that it will be embarking on several new initiatives as part of continued efforts to enhance safety at sea, especially in the Port of Singapore.
To capture vessel movements more efficiently and accurately, MPA will upgrade the Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) this year. This includes improvements to the resolution of CCTV and video analytics capabilities, and expansion of the data bandwidth between the VTIS and radar stations to enhance situational awareness through ensuring high resolution radar plots.
To facilitate real-time data transfer between shore and ships in the port, MPA will be investing $500,000 in the development of the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) over the next three years. This is part of the Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System R&D project at the MPA Living Lab which provides a technology partnership platform that technology providers and industry partners can plug into for the co-development and piloting of innovations.
With greater data exchange between shore and ships, predictive analysis relating to navigational safety such as traffic hotspots and collision risks could be made at shore and shared with ships. The VDES is currently being developed and prototyped. Field trials will be carried out under the MPA Living Lab from the second half of this year across a range of e-Navigation and digital applications.
At the official opening of the International Safety@Sea Conference at the Marina Mandarin Hotel, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, also announced that a new maritime research Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) will be set up by Singapore Maritime Institute and Singapore Polytechnic to enhance navigational safety.
Singapore Polytechnic’s CEMS will focus on research and innovations that enhance navigational safety. It will contribute to the training and development of future-ready seafarers, through the use of emerging digital technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality.
Organised by MPA, the third International Safety@Sea Conference was held as part of the International Safety@Sea Week. Over 250 international maritime professionals attended the two-day conference, themed Towards Safer Navigation – Lessons, Insights and Trends, to share best practices, exchange ideas and collaborate to enhance maritime safety.
MPA organises the Safety@Sea Week annually to enhance maritime safety by raising safety awareness and instilling a safety-first culture. This year’s programme runs from 18 to 22 June 2018. In addition to the conference, there are also pre- and post-conference workshops and industry visits as part of the week of activities.