Abu Dhabi Ports has collaborated with global commercial vessel designer and tugboat leader Robert Allan Ltd, to develop the world’s first fully-unmanned autonomous commercial marine tugs
Once developed, the tugs will join SAFEEN, Abu Dhabi Ports’ maritime service arm, which maintains an expanding fleet of world-class service vessels.
One of the primary advantages of the innovative design includes greater capability, as shifting the human element from on-board to on-shore, will allow such vessels to operate in far more adverse weather conditions. Furthermore, the technology will help increase efficiency and enhance operational safety.
Abu Dhabi Ports will work closely with one of Canada’s oldest privately-owned Naval Architectural and Marine Engineering firms on the research and development of remotely-controlled marine tugs that will be fully unmanned, and be able to operate within a wide spectrum of autonomy.
The two entities have recently signed an MoU to this effect at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) gathering in London.
Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, said, “This agreement marks a milestone in our digital transformation, and confirms our commitment to ensure the Emirate of Abu Dhabi strengthens its reputation as a leading centre for digital innovation regionally and globally.”
“Developing solutions and building strategic partnerships with industry experts will help achieve a paradigm shift in maritime operations worldwide and globally in line with the directives of the leadership.”
Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO at Abu Dhabi Ports, added, “This agreement marks another qualitative addition to our digital armoury that will enhance performance efficiency, productivity, transparency, and safety, as well as reduce costs. Continuing our investment in technology and advanced infrastructure ensures the growth and sustainability of our business, and increases our contribution towards the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s knowledge-based economy.”
Mike Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Robert Allan Ltd, noted, “Robert Allen Ltd has been working on solutions to the technical challenges of an unmanned tugboat for several years now, but we were somewhat stalled in progressing to a commercial construction without an opportunity like this with Abu Dhabi Ports