Stena Line uses AI to optimise ferry operations

2024-06-14T22:18:00+00:00 June 14th, 2024|Environment|

Large European ferry company, Stena Line, has reported a significant reduction in the vessels’ fuel consumption thanks to the use of AI.

Through its recently implemented voyage optimisation system, vessel functions optimisation can be undertaken much more efficiently, while resulting in between 1-5% reduction in fuel consumption, the company claimed.

The system was tested on ferry crossings between Gothenburg and the Danish port of Frederikshavn, among others.

Stena explained that the use of AI helped to optimise vessel operations by accurately analysing a number of factors that affect the vessel’s voyage, such as wind, waves and depth during the sailing, ensuring correct and energy-efficient power output.

The data is collected in real time and processed through AI-powered algorithms, thus reducing fuel consumption and securing the operational strategy.

“It is clear that the use of AI both optimises our operations and supports our vision of a more sustainable future. It is positive to see how the technology has not only enabled significant progress in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions and streamline work, but also gives our crew more time to manage day-to-day operations,” said Michael Ljunge, Stena Line’s Digital Engineering Manager.

The AI system developers work closely with the ship’s crew, both navigators and Masters, to continuously receive feedback and make adjustments. This collaboration has proven to be crucial in improving the AI solutions and ensuring its practicality in operations, the company said.

“One of the biggest challenges in implementing AI has been ensuring that everyone on board understands how the system works. We originally named the system ‘AI Captain’, but changed this shortly afterwards to avoid misconceptions that AI would replace human decision-making.

“Instead, the technology is now presented as an intelligent assistant that supports the captain’s and crew’s decisions, which has helped to integrate the AI system in a more natural way and as a tool that complements human expertise and experience,” Ljunge explained.

Stena also said that the increased use of AI and the subsequent efficiency developments are just the beginning. With current technological advances, the company is expected to continue to set the standard for more environmentally friendly and innovative maritime transportation.

These developments are also part of Stena Line’s broader strategy to integrate sustainable solutions into all areas of its business, including the company’s travel agency Sembos’ introduction of an AI assistant that streamlines travel planning and booking and transforms the traditional travel industry.