As inflation rates and fossil fuel prices tick ever higher, freight carriers worldwide are looking for ways to cut their fuel consumption. Now, a Swedish tech firm has developed an AI (artificial intelligence) platform that could help them do just that.
That firm is Gothenburg, Sweden-based software developer Cetasol, which developed its iHelm digital platform in collaboration with Swedish machine learning specialist Semcon. Since January 2020, the partners have been testing the platform to streamline passenger ferry traffic in the Gothenburg archipelago and other locations worldwide. In the case of the ferry on the Swedish West Coast, the captains have cut fuel consumption by 17% on average by changing their driving patterns, according to the two companies. Further savings are expected as the AI learns and improves over time.
The platform processes large amounts of data from different sources, such as driving patterns from experienced captains, weather data, GPS positioning information, and data on ocean currents. The solution then analyzes the information to deliver “actionable insights” that show the captain how to “drive” as energy-efficiently as possible.
The system consists of an onboard sensor kit that provides real-time visual information to the captain, while also providing land-based staff with an analytical cloud platform for statistics, reports, and insights.
Pilot tests show that iHelm can cut fuel consumption by 10% to 25% for small- to medium-sized vessels that are less than 330 feet long, and 3% to 7% for larger vessels over 490 feet. However, Cetasol says that savings are expected to increase for both classes of vessels as the AI learns and improves.