Companies and organisations are being asked to test a prototype data platform which could help work underway in autonomous vessel development.

Four weeks after the first version of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) MARLab platform went live, project manager Solis Marine said has nearly 20 different datasets live and available for review from its Port of Portland test site.

These include Live AIS, vessel arrivals, vessel expected arrivals and sailings, vessels in port, wind and speed direction, bathymetry, chart data, tidal data, navigation exceptions and a UK Hydrographic Office package. The UKHO package is an interactive visual of fixed structures and other key-spatial data.

Rosalind Blazejczyk from Solis Marine, said: “When we started looking at this, those interested in what we could produce in these datasets told us there were six that they felt were the most important to them. We’re excited to say that five out of those six – AIS data, tidal data, UKHO geo-spatial data and a hydrographic model of the test site at Portland – are all included.

“‘We have established the case for implementing communications infrastructures and the provision of data from assured sources.”

Solis Marine is also looking to work with the MCA to host a workshop during 2020. MCA’s Dr Katrina Kemp, who oversees the MARLab work, said that it was clear that the UK industry needs a clear regulatory pathway for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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