Stena Line to Use Artificial Intelligence Technology to Reduce Fuel Consumption

The Stena Line ferry Stena GermanicaPhoto: Stena Line

European shipping company Stena Line has partnered a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Hitachi to implement artificial intelligence technology on ships, marking the latest in what seems like an ever-growing list of shipping companies exploring the use of AI to improve operations.

Stena Line and Hitachi Europe say the partnership is aimed at using AI to reduce fuel consumption costs and minimize impacts on the environment.

The partnership will see a team of Hitachi experts from across its business units review Stena Lines’ existing digital architecture and advise the ferry company as “it aims to become the world’s leading cognitive shipping company by 2021,” Hitachi said in press release announcing the partnership.

“Controlling fuel consumption is vital to Stena Line’s business, since it is a major part of their total cost base. By leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies, Hitachi will be able to identify the key factors causing high fuel consumption and, critically, advise how to make operations more efficient,” the release stated.

Stena Line has been at forefront of the shipping industry’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact while increasing efficiency through the integration of smart technology.

In March 2015, the Stena Line ferry Stena Germanica became the first commercial vessel in the world to undergo a conversion allowing it to burn low-emissions methanol as its main fuel.

“With a structured approach and by taking continuous initiatives, the aim is for Stena Line to become a leader in sustainable shipping,” said Rune Kleiberg, Head of digital strategy, Stena Line. “We are pleased to have Hitachi on board to help us in our cognitive journey to improve fleet operation across ship and shore, providing new capabilities for safer and more sustainable ferry journeys, as well as helping improve operational efficiencies and overall vessel performance.”

Hicham Abdessamad, Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi Global Digital Holdings Corporation, Corporate Officer of Hitachi, commented: “Digitalisation plays a key role in helping industries such as shipping optimize their operations for both financial performance and environmental impact. We are engaged with Stena Line on a number of strategic co-creation initiatives and we see this as an important next step in providing digital expertise to help them achieve positive business and societal outcomes.”

Earlier this week, French shipping group CMA CGM announced it has partnered with the San Francisco start-up Shone to explore the use of artificial intelligence on board its ships. In April, the world’s largest shipping line Maersk also announced a project to test AI situational awareness on board one of its containerships.

Earlier that same month, Hong Kong-based shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) teamed up with Microsoft’s research arm in Asia to advance the application of Artificial Intelligence research in the shipping industry