Rolls-Royce has worked together with VTT's researchers and Aalto University to develop the new bridge, known as the Future Operator Experience Concept or ‘oX'. It offers the crew smart workstations, which automatically recognise individuals when they walk into the bridge, and adjust to their own preferences.
The windows of the bridge serve as augmented reality displays of the vessel's surroundings, including visualisation of potential hazards that would otherwise be invisible to the human eye. The system can, for example, pinpoint sea ice or tug boats and other craft that may not be visible to the crew, especially on large container ships.
The oX concept, has been developed by studying user experience on ships today, and will transform the operating environment for crews on board large cargo ships and platform supply vessels. Using advanced 3D animation to illustrate just what could be achieved in the next decade. The new concept will utilise the latest digital techniques to create safer and more energy efficient ship operations. To achieve these results, we utilized a UX-driven concept design process, which included for example user studies.
The motivation behind the concepts was to renew the thinking of the maritime industry regarding ship operation. Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, President - Marine, said "With the demands of environmental legislation and rising operating costs, ships are going to become more complex. Add to that the fact that skilled crews are already in short supply, then we see a distinct gap opening up between the complexity of ships and the competency of the people who will crew them. That will cause real problems for the industry, and we believe it is ship intelligence, that will fill that gap."
By visualizing the concepts in an impressive way, the aim is to influence the key stakeholders in the maritime domain, such as shipbuilders, classification societies, and regulators.
The current status of development is that the concepts have been defined for each vessel, concept pictures and videos have been produced with TrollVFX, and we are planning to implement the developed 3D models to a virtual reality head-mounted display.
Although some of the technologies in the presented concepts seem rather futuristic, the basic technological solutions are already available nowadays. Challenge is that international maritime law does not allow most of them to be used without traditional equipment as well. Aim of these videos is to challenge the thinking between old and new technology and to highlight the benefits which modern technology brings.
The importance and business value of the results:
- The concept videos have created a buzz in the maritime industry’s news services and social media and uplifted Rolls-Royce’s brand image as an innovative company
- The success of the results of the project have spread a UX mindset among the workers of Rolls-Royce and they have adopted our method
- With the produced concept videos and pictures, Rolls-Royce aims to challenge the thinking in order for the designed concept solutions to be implemented into real ship bridges in the future
Mikael Makinen, Rolls-Royce, President - Marine, said: "We are entering a truly exciting period in the history of shipping, where technology, and in particular the smart use of Big Data is going to drive the next generation of ships. Over the next ten to 20 years we believe Ship Intelligence is going to be the driving force that will determine the future of our industry, the type of ships at sea, and the competence levels required from tomorrow's seafarers. The new oX bridge concept, is one example of ship intelligence, and is a glimpse into the future where significant advances to navigation, efficiency of operations and safety at sea, can be achieved.”
Iiro Lindborg, Rolls Royce
Hannu Karvonen, VTT
Main partners of the project were Rolls-Royce, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and Aalto University.
In addition, external help fromTroll VFX, Cresense, and Leadin was acquired