We’re all used to having the world map in our pocket with apps like Google Maps and getting from A to B with a press of a button. Thanks to these developments over the last two decades autonomous car companies have been able to just plug into this widely available data and integrate it in their software to direct their autonomous cars to their destination.
The state of the art of route planning for ships
For autonomous vessels this is a different story. There is simply no Google Maps for the water where you can tap into. The current state of the art is either by setting waypoints or having route planners that are not accurate; for instance they take the middle of a waterway or go over land.
Captain AI Route Planner; a crucial building block to get to full autonomy
Therefore we’ve created Captain AI Route Planner; our Google Maps for the waterways. Based on historical AIS data we are able to not only extract highly accurate routes, but also to calculate the most optimal route. As you can see in the GIF below we also take into account the direction we’re going.
We use the created route as input for Captain AI Autopilot (see previous posts here and here), together with obstacle detection and avoidance Captain AI Route Planner is a critical building block to achieve full autonomy. More features will be build in the Route Planner the coming months such as velocity and type of vessel.