mtu NautIQ CoOperate

Autonomous control and command.

Flexible vessel control from anywhere

Increasing capabilities and reducing costs

mtu NautIQ CoOperate is an optionally self-piloting ship navigation and command system. It enables off-boat remote command, including all

payloads on board, and offers situational awareness using cameras, sensors and other equipment, from a second location on another vessel or on shore.

Increased flexibility

Where a secure link infrastructure is available, mtu NautiQ CoOperate allows vessels to be commanded from anywhere using IP radio, 4G networks or satellite communications.

Health and safety

Increases health and safety by mitigating crew risk in dynamic, toxic or dangerous marine operations. In addition, supervised system obstacle detection and avoidance also helps reduce human errors.

Increased possibilities

Creates new business opportunities by enabling reduced-crew vessel configurations. Also Increased possibilities by taking over routine and monotonous tasks and allowing crews to focus on their mission and work.

Increased productivity

Lengthens operational periods by reducing limitations like stop-work periods and crew changes or conditions in which humans cannot operate.

Lower costs

Reduced operating cost through optimal crew tasking, increased efficiency and productivity in operation.

Crew comfort and cargo safety

Regulates vessel motions during missions and voyages, reducing wave-induced slamming, heave or other motions, and keeps them below configurable limits.

Autonomous self-piloting capabilities

mtu NautIQ CoOperate consists of an onboard enclosure with flexible sensor integration and a ruggedized laptop. The system can also be used with the optional mtu NautIQ CoDirect beltpack for remote control when operated within 1000 m of the vessel.
Where a secure link infrastructure is available, mtu NautIQ CoOperate allows vessels to be commanded from anywhere using IP radio, 4G networks, or satellite communications. The vessel can also move autonomously from waypoint to waypoint, execute a survey or search-and-rescue pattern, or match the course and speed of the mothership. The system can also be set for timed tasks, such as loitering at a waypoint or activating a payload.
The self-piloting system provides operational domain awareness, telemetry and attitude to a remote commander via a chart-based user interface, tracked targets, video stream and warnings. These are generated by cameras, sensors and other equipment located on and off the vessel. On-board machinery, instrumentation and payload data also stream to the user interface.

Safer navigation and operations – manual or automatic

mtu NautIQ CoOperate features collision alerts and an active avoidance system designed to meet COLREGS. The technology controls the ship to automatically avoid targets – or alert remote operators – if data from Electronic Navigation Charts (ENC), Automatic Identification System (AIS), radar and sonar indicates a potential hazard.
The operator can intervene at any moment via the command GUI or by taking back command at the onboard helm station. Both options include the ability to monitor and manually adjust the propulsion and steering systems. The operator can also receive data from the vessel’s sensors – including radar and optical imagery – displayed on a laptop or big-screen monitor

Autonomous command applications

Autonomous command and control integrates with existing vessel systems and sensors to manage pre-planned and dynamically charted missions. Applications include:
  • Patrol vessels
  • Hydrographic survey
  • Tugboats
  • Pilot boats
  • Search and rescue (SAR) Guard and Standby
  • Aquaculture
  • Ferries

Sample solutions

There are multiple applications for autonomous command and control. Here are just some examples.

Hydrographic survey operations

One exemplary use case is for hydrographic survey operations, in which an operator deploys the mtu NautIQ CoOperate to perform a line or grid pattern with one set of commands. The technology increases the accuracy of the grid lines with less manpower required to maintain the lines.

The Amsterdam-based hydrographic survey company Deep BV is using this technology on one of its survey vessels. The technology alerts users and controls the vessel automatically to avoid targets. The vessel, operating in multiple areas of the Wadden Sea, is commanded by personnel in the Amsterdam office.

Tug makes 1000 nautical mile autonomous voyage

In 2021 the tug Nellie Bly used the mtu NautIQ CoOperate autonomous system to complete a 1000 NM trip around Denmark in just over 13 days. The program was commanded by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed mariners remotely stationed 3,000 miles away in Boston. In a milestone moment, the tugboat used computer vision and autonomous tech to circumnavigate Denmark and gather essential data on waterways

First autonomous hybrid cargo vessel in the U.S.

In 2020, First Harvest Navigation, a marine transportation company that connects family farms to urban and suburban neighborhoods, launched the first autonomous hybrid cargo vessel in the U.S using the autonomous command with the additional remote helm control mtu NautIQ CoDirect. The U.S.-built, electric-powered Captain Ben Moore was also the first hybrid cargo vessel to feature remote crew-assist technology and to generate zero emissions.

The vessel’s intelligent capabilities offer First Harvest Navigation redundancy and flexibility for crew shifts, with the capability to autonomously command the Captain Ben Moore from the company’s land-based control station. In addition to autonomous control and remote vessel monitoring tools, the technology also assists with obstacle detection and collision avoidance for added operational safety.

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