Abu Dhabi Ports to develop unmanned autonomous tugs with Robert Allan

Abu Dhabi Ports to develop unmanned autonomous tugs with Robert Allan

9 Mar 2020

Abu Dhabi Ports has inked an agreement with Canadian naval architects Robert Allan Ltd to develop the world’s first fully unmanned autonomous commercial marine tugs.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Abu Dhabi Ports and Robert Allan Ltd will see the two work closely firms on the research and development of remotely controlled marine tugs that the port said would be fully unmanned and be able to operate within a wide spectrum of autonomy.

By shifting the human element of control of the vessels to the shore Abu Dhabi Ports said the tugs would be able to work in more adverse weather conditions and increase operational safety.

HE Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports said, “It’s a top priority for Abu Dhabi Ports to lead the charge towards digitalising the region’s maritime operations, and we are committed to providing a pioneering model for the sector. Adopting digital solutions and keeping up with the changing demands of global trade have proven to be key drivers for economic growth and are integral towards achieving our goal of being a smart port.”

Once developed the tugs will join Abu Dhabi Ports Marine arm SAFEEN.

“Robert Allan Ltd. has been working on solutions to the technical challenges of an unmanned tugboat for several years now, but we were somewhat stalled in progressing to a commercial construction without an opportunity like this with Abu Dhabi Ports,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, president and ceo of Robert Allan.

Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Abu Dhabi Ports group ceo commented: “Our cooperation with Robert Allan to develop a new generation of tugboats equipped with superior capabilities and modern technologies, reflects our commitment to ensuring that the infrastructure at Abu Dhabi Ports is at the cutting edge.”

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