Digital Testing of Navigation Safety for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships to Support Sea Trials


The Maritime Autonomous Ships Steering Committee, set up by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), recognized a need for vessels with autonomous technologies (which may include remotely-operated systems) to be tested through numerical simulations, experimental modelling, as well as using bridge and mission simulators prior to full-scale sea trials. For convenience, these numerical simulations, experimental modelling as well as bridge and mission simulations shall be collectively referred to as “Phase 0” evaluations. The considerations for the “Phase 0” evaluations are:

  1. There is a need for the vessels to demonstrate the ability to carry out the sea trials safely;
  2. Given that it may not be practicable or safe to carry out tests of critical scenarios in sea trials, there is a need to demonstrate that the vessels are able to carry out their intended operations in a safe manner.

The outcome of this project would be a guidance document that can be used to recommend the minimum set of Phase 0 evaluations that are required for submission to MPA prior to sea trials, to demonstrate adequate safety for sea trials and / or operations. As such, this will set a minimum standard set of documents to be submitted to ensure standard practice for such tests.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Captain Savio

Development Of An Objective And Intelligent Simulation Training And Assessment Package


The main contributing factor of most accidents at sea is human error. Lack of competence on the mariners is one of the main reasons. The existing in-built simulator training and assessment package is rigid as it does not take into consideration the change in traffic and navigational environment w.r.t. traffic density, speed of ship, visibility and area of navigation.

Sea-time requirements before a cadet officer can be issued with the 1st certificate of competency is relatively short and this may lead to inadequate shipboard training. The bulk of the navigation skill and experience are gained when they are in the training institution especially during simulator training. The allocation of time for training on simulator is not limited. Hence, training exercises that are conducted must be spot-on and must be highly effective.

The initial part of the project was to identify the gaps and determined the relevance and the adequacy of the existing in-built assessment. This was done through online surveys that would be sent out to the shipping companies and associations.

The survey will gather inputs on the actual shipboard practices when the seafarers are navigating in Singapore waters. This includes different class of vessels, vessel sizes and external environment conditions such as visibility.

The results of the survey were analysed with data analytics capabilities that the recruited engineer would possess. The outcome of this analysis would form the baseline of a common practice at sea that provides consistency in setting the critical training parameters.

The project team has integrated these results into a simulation package with the advanced navigation research simulator to allow auto-update of critical parameter setting in the simulator to ensure high quality and consistency of training.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Captain Osman

Immersive Asset Library for Maritime Application


This Storage and Retrieval Library System aims to create an interface and database for commonly used digital assets of different classes for maritime application. The library will be a repository for 3d models, environment prefabs, animation, programming code snippets for features and functionalities. These digital assets will be categorized and tag for easy retrieval. A web interface will be created for ease of deployment.

This project will enable faster development and implementation of immersive training solutions. With these training solutions, the Maritime Industry can benefit from higher confidence in crew’s ability.

The system will allow maritime students to create a higher level of immersive learning solutions using the digital assets provided. These solutions can allow for deeper learning outcomes both for the learners creating and consuming the solutions.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Mr Goh Zhe An

AICATSAN: AI-Based Competency Assessment Tool for Safe Navigation


Measuring and assessing human performance is key to enhance and maintain maritime navigational safety. An effective AI-based Competency Assessment Tool for Safe Navigation (AICATSAN) is proposed to be developed to measure and assess navigational competence for both technical skills and soft skills such as Situational Awareness, Decision Making, Leadership skills, Teamwork, and Communication and Influencing Skills.

Multi-source data including videos captured by the eye tracker, Electroencephalogram, Heart rate, and Speech will be used in AICATSAN to provide a comprehensive assessment of navigational competence.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Captain Virdi

Next Generation Navigation Simulator (NGNS)


With Singapore’s vision to be a SMART port with SMART vessels plying Singapore port waters, there is a dire need to carry out such testing of MASS systems and training the future ready seafarer (SBO). However, as none of our existing simulation systems are capable of this, the way forward is to set up a Next Generation Navigation Simulator (NGNS) to support Singapore’s maritime transformation journey.

With the set-up of the Advanced Navigation Research Simulator (ANRS), it is timely that we also focus on the Next Generation Navigation Simulator (NGNS), which brings CEMS to the ultimate level of simulator usage. It would be a shore-based operation configuration with LED based visual screens mounted in landscape mode to provide a 360 degree FOV with the capability of executing autonomous navigation control simulation.

The NGNS can facilitate testing, data analysis, behaviour experiments and validating the Centre’s R&D findings. The NGNS systems shall be designed with provisions for future capabilities in integrating and interfacing with third-parties AI algorithms pertaining to remote pilotage and autonomous navigation, including study and test of interactions between manned, remote and autonomous vessels. This is crucial before autonomous ships (MASS) could be permitted to conduct physical sea trials in Singapore waters.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Captain Frederick

Advanced Navigation Research Simulator (ANRS)


ANRS is the only dedicated research simulator in South-East Asia. It allows CEMS to work closely with Singapore Maritime Academy to enhance the training, assessment and delivery for traditional seafarers for manned vessels. CEMS is also working with PSA Marine to design training scenarios at ANRS to study the behavior of its pilots using AI algorithms, with a goal to enhance the navigational competency level.

The ANRS enables CEMS and our partners to research into human factors and build AI assessment systems which could be deployed at other training institutions.

These efforts will further entrench Singapore’s position as a global leading training hub for seafarers. ANRS is a collaboration between CEMS and Kongsberg Digital and is ready in 2021.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Captain Osman

AI-Based Competency Assessment Tool in Navigation Training for Maritime Safety


Human error has been identified to be the major factor in marine accidents. Manpower training has traditionally been focused on technical competency while non-technical soft skills have been under-developed. Important soft-skills like situation awareness, behavioural competency and so on, needs to be assessed. The proposed assessment tools will benefit manpower training thus improve safety for the maritime industries.

An automated assessment report on students’ performance during simulator training will allow for enhanced instructor’s assessment capabilities and more objective assessments without bias nor varying standards.

The outcome of the project is to develop a suite of assessment tools to quantify key indicators of behaviour competency to be situated within simulation environment and to provide timely report on trainee’s performance.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Captain Virdi

Freefall Lifeboat Simulation Training


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Freefall life boat training exercises and safety drills are considered high risks activity and the potential dangers in lifeboats and launching system accidents can result in severe injuries, sometimes even fatal, to the participating crew. In addition, these training exercises and safety drills require significant resources, manpower, and coordination to organize.

These limitations and considerations resulted in insufficient practice being carried out effectively, which might lead to reduced confidence during emergency, thus increasing risks to the entire crew on board the lifeboat.

This project aimed to replicate a “safe” virtual environment for seafarers to conduct training exercises and safety drills. Injects and “what-if” scenarios are introduced to assess how learners react to situations which deviate from the norm.

The development of the learning and assessment analytics system is modular from the simulation scenarios. This will allow the learning analytics module to be deployed to other virtual reality training packages.

The Maritime Industry can benefit for higher confidence in crew’s ability to launch a freefall lifeboat in an unfortunate event of abandoning a vessel.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Goh Zhe An

360-Scenario Editor for Ship Familiarization


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Many environments in the maritime setting are hazardous and will require a safety induction and familiarization before crew members are allowed to freely access the areas. It is typically not cost and time effective to stop routine operations for such environment for the purpose of induction for a small number of new crew.

Virtual tours can be created using 360-images or 360-videos to bring the user to a location which is not easily accessible. Using captured images or videos using a 360 camera is able to create a higher realism environment over a virtually created 3d environment.

For the virtual tour to be effective, especially when it involves safety induction, information needs to be annotated over the visual components. However, adding points of interest/hotspots and making modification to such virtual tours is not trivial.

Maritime companies, especially ship management companies, can easily create virtual walkthroughs of their vessels at a fraction of cost and time. The virtual tour can also be used as a training tool for crew.

Principal Investigator (PI):   Goh Zhe An

R&D Roadmap on Human Element and Training for Safe Navigation 2030


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