The procedure meant that the system was activated some 2000 metres from the berth and the vessel continued at normal transit speed. The system then performed a gradual slowing of speed, and automatically activated the line-up and docking manoeuvre until the ship was secured at the berth. When the ship was ready to sail again, the system was used for the departure procedure in an identical but reverse manner.
Full manoeuvring of the vessel, including the steerage and propulsion, was automatically controlled by the software. However, manual intervention and control was possible at any time. The automatic function allowed the ship’s officers to focus on situational awareness outside the wheelhouse, thereby improving the safety and reliability of operations.
Wärtsilä’s auto-docking technology delivers notable benefits to operators. These include improved safety since there is less likelihood of human error; less wear and tear since the thrusters are efficiently utilised; and greater efficiency in docking which allows for more time at berth.