MPA & IBM Move Forward on AI Project to Detect Illegal Bunkering, Improve Maritime Operations

Tuesday August 22, 2017

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and IBM today announced they have jointly completed the pilot trial of a cognitive-based system that will detect illegal bunkering as part of a range of modules to improve maritime operations.

Project SAFER, derived from "Sense-making Analytics For maritime Event Recognition," is a collaboration between MPA and IBM to develop and test new analytics-based technologies, aimed at improving maritime and port operations to support increasing Singapore's growth in vessel traffic, MPA explains.

The system's capabilities are divided into seven modules:

  • Automated Movement Detection
  • Infringement Analytics
  • Pilot Boarding Detection
  • Bunkering Analytics
  • Prohibited Area Analytics
  • Vessel Traffic Arrival Prediction
  • Utilisation Detection and Prediction

Today, at the opening of the International Safety@Sea Conference, MPA and IBM said the pilot trial of the three modules that have been completed include Automated Movement Detection, Infringement Analytics, and Pilot Boarding Detection.

Those will be rolled out progressively beginning September 2017, while developing and testing continues on the other four modules that will be rolled out by January 2018 (to provide advanced information on traffic density within Singapore port waters; detect illegal bunkering activities; detect vessels moving into prohibited areas; and predict vessel arrival time.)

"We will continue to develop our digital strategies through the use of data analytics and machine learning technologies to optimise our port operations and enforcement to meet existing as well as future demands," said Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA.

"The SAFER project will enable us to reap immediate benefits especially in the areas of next-generation port enforcement and monitoring of vessel movements."

"AI is transforming every industry and the marine domain is no exception. The SAFER solution is an example of how IBM's AI research for business is supplementing and increasing human capacity by making our waterways and sea lanes safer and more efficient," said Robert Morris, Vice President, Global Labs, IBM Research.