Navigational accidents remain a key challenge for the maritime industry. Despite significant advances made in technology, ship design, regulatory implementation, and risk management systems over the past decade, navigational accidents continue to occur. The need of the hour is a dynamic solution that provides the navigational officer/officer on the watch (OOW) with real-time, 24/7 alerts can ensure timely decision-making and collision avoidance of navigational hazards.

Co-funded by the European Commission (EC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the SafeNav Project will provide navigators with an easy-to-use decision support system – the Safer Navigation (SafeNav) system. The SafeNav system will be a highly innovative digital solution that will enhance safer navigation and assist vessels in avoiding collisions and accidents at sea.

Powered by automatic collision prevention and avoidance modules, the SafeNav system will provide navigators with an extensive survey of the vessel's surrounding environment in the form of a comprehensive decision support platform. Real-time input from state-of-the art sensors, including the LADAR™ Sensor Suite (which uses a combination of sensors and cameras to detect, classify, and track objects), and other relevant sources will ensure seamless data collection and fusion for the autonomous detection of vessels, marine mammals, floating containers, and other obstacles in the marine environment.

SafeNav’s proprietary collision-avoidance algorithms and real- time COLREGs-compliant suggestions will assist the navigator when an obstacle is detected and help reduce the pressure on navigators onboard. The system will serve as an efficient decision-making aid and provide access to visual navigation data - all on a single, easy-to-use graphical user-interface (GUI).

A vessel powered by the SafeNav system will be able to tap into the real-time data and alerts/notifications to ensure optimal and safe navigation during a voyage. The vision is for the SafeNav system to support semi- and/or fully autonomous vessel operations as a navigational aid.

More information about the project can be found at the project website