Partners Expand Remote and Autonomous Maritime Industry Capabilities in the Middle East

Overseas staff

ABU DHABI, UAE — Fugro and AD Ports Group have formalized a collaborative relationship by signing an agreement that defines combined goals for using remote and autonomous technologies in the region.

Fugro is a geodata specialist that helps clients mitigate risk during the design, construction and operation of their assets, both onshore and offshore. AD Ports Group is a logistics facilitator, industry and commerce based in the United Arab Emirates, operating integrated business clusters spanning digital, economic cities and free zones, logistics, maritime and ports.

The partnership aims to create a platform to implement remote and autonomous technology as well as develop guidelines that will ensure the UAE is ready to welcome and benefit from using the latest advances in the industry.

As the agreement formalizes the partnership between Fugro and AD Ports Group, the companies have been working together since March in preparation for the arrival of the region’s first vessel Fugro Pegasus unmanned service vehicle (USV). The USV was recently welcomed to the United Arab Emirates and will be stationed at Al Mirfa Port, Abu Dhabi.

Captain Mohamed Al Yahyaei, Chief Harbor Master, AD Ports Group, said: “Through strategic collaborations, AD Ports Group has brought the world’s first autonomous commercial unmanned tugs, as well as the first terminal in the Middle East equipped with a system of autonomous port trucks. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. By signing this new agreement with Fugro, we are expanding the range of remote and autonomous technologies available to the maritime sector.”

The agreement covers the strategic pillars that Fugro and AD Ports Group will address together to make Fugro’s USV technologies a successful addition to the region. These pillars include

  • Jointly develop procedures for the use and implementation of USVs in accordance with UAE requirements;
  • Establish an approved remote and stand-alone test site for USVs; and
  • Create an industry-compliant training program for Emirati Nationals and International Seafarers, covering the operation of USVs or Marine Autonomous Surface Vessels.

Automation and the use of remote technologies in the maritime sector can allow ships and vehicles to operate more efficiently, with greater operational safety, and reduce operating costs, Fugro said. In the case of offshore vessels, automation allows vessels to operate safely in adverse weather conditions. Since 75% to 96% of maritime accidents are typically the result of human error, the increased use of automation in the maritime sector also has the potential to increase safety and reduce accidents.