AVATAR project partners contributed to the Smart Waterway project
In the Smart Waterway project, various steps were taken to make the use of autonomous pallet shuttle barges cost effective in urban settings by creating real time situational awareness, ensuring reliable communication and providing accurate positioning.
Urban Waterway Logistics provided for free the test vessel in Ghent, as can be seen in the movie below.
"By making waterway transport more cost-efficient, Smart Waterway will enable a modal shift for last mile urban logistics from the road to the small waterways in many European cities, including a city as Ghent. For small barges that could enter these waterways, however, the cost of automating a vessel is high compared to the construction cost. Hence, a cost reduction in automating small vessels will be crucial in this shift. We believe this can only be reached by drastically reducing the equipment cost on the autonomous vessel. This does, however, require significant advances in sensing and localization technology. Although a lower accuracy is sufficient for autonomous waypoint-based navigation, low-cost onboard sensors will not suffice in more complex scenarios (i.e. locks, bottlenecks such as bridges, loading and unloading bays) where accurate localization is needed to safely maneuver the vessel. To overcome this issue, these critical locations will be equipped with additional sensors (e.g., IR, cameras) and a novel ultra-wideband localization system. By combining low-cost onboard sensors with infrastructure near critical locations, Smart Waterway aims to achieve economically viable level 3 autonomy in urban waterways." Source: Smart Waterway
See also info on AVATAR LinkedIn.
(c) imec.ICON Smart Waterway project