AI Voyage Optimisation with No Hardware Installation: Deepsea and G2 Ocean Unveil Groundbreaking Tool

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In a major milestone for maritime technology, we at DeepSea Technologies have worked with G2 Ocean, the leading Norwegian bulk shipping operator, to launch a groundbreaking new tool – Pythia Augment. This new tool unlocks the power of fuel-saving voyage optimisation for ships that don’t have high-frequency/sensor data and rely predominantly on AIS and noon report data by enhancing it with insights from our database of hundreds of sensor-equipped vessels.

Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA & Norway Grants 2014-2021 in the frame of the Business Innovation Greece Programme, DeepSea and G2 Ocean have run successful trials for this new tool. Read on to learn more about:

  • The data challenges faced by the sector
  • How Pythia Augment can bring any vessel into the AI era
  • Our trial run with G2 Ocean’s fleet
  • The support of the EEA & Norway Grants 2014-2021

It’s no secret that the maritime sector as a whole has been somewhat slow in adopting new technologies – including AI. A major challenge we have identified is that a minority of companies in the shipping industry actually have the data collection systems in place to support the data-driven improvements afforded by these technologies. 

So far, only vessels equipped with high frequency, real-time data driven by sensors have been able to enjoy the benefits of AI. Vessels without these capabilities have remained largely reliant on noon reports – thus operating in a less efficient fashion than their tech-enhanced counterparts. 

This new development, which has the power to transform the industry, now means that even vessels that only rely on noon reports as their means of data collection are going to be able to significantly reduce their fuel consumption and lower emissions. 

But, how? 

Pythia Augment: bringing all vessels into the AI era

Our collaboration with G2 Ocean and SINTEF, alongside the vital support of the EEA & Norway Grants 2014-2021, spearheaded this major leap forward. Together, we have developed an AI-based solution that can utilise noon reports and AIS data (generally available to all shipowners), to bring them the benefits of performance routing. 

Why now? As our CEO & Co-Founder, Dr. Konstantinos Kyriakopoulos said, “ship owners need to be taking action now to deliver on the maritime industry’s long-term goal to decarbonise by focusing on reducing energy consumption through operational efficiencies.

So, how can that really be done? Dr. Kyriakopoulos continued “With the delivery of Pythia Augment using low-frequency data to optimise voyage planning, we are creating a new and innovative way for bulkers to rapidly drive down carbon emissions in their operations.” 

The key technological breakthrough behind Pythia Augment is something called “transfer learning”, which allows vessel behaviour to be modelled in high-resolution, even without the high-resolution data that would typically be required for this exercise. These models unlock a high-impact approach to voyage optimisation that involves actually understanding the fuel consumption of a particular vessel under any set of conditions – and using this knowledge to create optimal route and speed plans. 

The process of transfer learning sees DeepSea combine its world-leading knowledge of vessel modelling with insights from its database of hundreds of sensor-equipped vessels. The outcome is the ability to effectively transfer advanced, high-resolution vessel models to vessels without sensors, then calibrate them based on available data. This breaks down a significant barrier to the adoption of AI solutions for operators.

G2 Ocean is committed to becoming a net-zero emissions company by 2050 and is enthusiastic about the potential benefits AI powered technologies can unlock in our industry.” stated Arthur English, CEO of G2 Ocean. “The solution developed by DeepSea enables real time analysis of a range of commercial, technical, and environmental factors resulting in a reduction of emissions as well as optimised earnings. With the wide-scale adoption of green fuels still some way off, it is vital that we grasp the opportunities that are currently economically viable to reduce emissions.”

Getting started: a powerful trial run

We ran a successful trial by applying Pythia Augment to 5 Grieg Star vessels within the Norwegian company’s fleet. This diverse group, with vessels using noon reports and AIS data, provided the perfect training ground to refine the AI model and ensure it delivers accurate, optimised guidance.

We also worked with SINTEF to understand and overcome the potential barriers to crew acceptance of AI recommendations. This is essential to sustainable shipping operations, and can only truly be realised if there is high compliance with the recommendations produced.

The outcome? Reduced fuel consumption and increased TCE.

Although the trial run applied Pythia Augment to bulkers within the Norwegian company’s fleet, the tool has widespread applications for all types of vessels. It is able to provide route and speed guidance for any kind of individual vessel based on AI-generated energy performance modelling.

The support of the EEA & Norway Grants 2014-2021

Thanks to the support of the EEA & Norway Grants 2014-2021, as well as Innovation Norway, Pythia Augment has become a reality. 

Through the Business Innovation Greece Programme which supported the Pythia Augment project, we support projects focused on innovation within the focus areas of Blue Growth, Green Industry Innovation, and ICT. We also encourage project collaboration, as well as projects which have a strong environmental impact.” says Anne Lise Rognlidalen, Programme Director, Innovation Norway. “We are very happy to have supported the Pythia Augment project which was implemented by DeepSea Technologies in collaboration with 2 donor partners, G2 Ocean and SINTEF. In particular, G2 Ocean and DeepSea worked together to support the improved performance of an important part of the Norwegian fleet.

She continued, “As home to the world’s fourth largest merchant fleet, Norway’s ship owners, as forward-thinking leaders in the maritime sector, can have a significant effect on the ongoing decarbonisation of the sector, and its efforts to achieve mandated net-zero targets in 2050.”

We’d like to extend a very warm thank you to the teams at G2 Ocean, the EEA & Norway Grants 2014-2021, and SINTEF, for their ongoing support and collaboration in this exciting project.