Working with technology company Hitachi, Stena Line are developing an artifical intelligence system that will help predict the most fuel-efficient way to operate a ferry on a specific route. The AI will support the captain and officers on board, and if successful will make an important contribution to Stena Line’s sustainability target to reduce fuel consumption by 2.5 % each year.
“The model simulates many different scenarios before suggesting the most optimal route and performance setup. With the help of AI we are able to consider a number of variables, such as currents, weather conditions, shallow water and speed through water, in various combinations which would be impossible to do manually”
says Lars Carlsson, Head of AI at Stena Line.
The pilot study is taking place on Stena Scandinavica, under the supervision of Senior Master Jan Sjöström who has been working with fuel optimisation at Stena Line for the last 40 years.
“Since we are helping the AI to evolve, we might be assisting the AI more than we are at the moment, but it is a very exciting and rewarding process. We’ve been making adjustments to the model after each trip for about four weeks and it is amazing to see how quickly it is learning”
says Jan Sjöström, Senior Master at Stena Scandinavica.
The ultimate goal is to create a precise model that will support the captain when planning each trip. For example, artifical intelligence assisted prediction of currents.
“Planning a trip and handling a vessel in a safe and, at the same time, fuel efficient way is craftsmanship. Practice makes perfect, but when assisted by AI a new captain or officer could learn how to fuel optimise quicker. In return, this contributes to a more sustainable journey”
says Jan Sjöström.
Stena Line's goal is to have a fully AI assisted company by 2021. The pilot study on the Gothenburg – Kiel route is the first of several studies regarding AI-assisted ferry trips.