Navigating the Greek Islands in the Digital Age

Ferry Tech Navigating the Greek Islands in the Digital Age

Ferries play a vital role in connecting people and goods around the world. Schedule predictability is essential for ferry operators and passengers alike.

Fortunately, new digital technology is making ferry travel safer and more convenient for all. Here are three ways this is happening.

Real-Time Ship Tracking

In the maritime industry, ship tracking is a crucial tool for optimizing shipping processes and delivering operational excellence. It allows for dynamic route adjustments, contingency planning and the avoidance of extra costs such as demurrage or detention fees. It also improves communication between ship and shore, facilitating the delivery of safety-related messages.

Vessel trackers use automatic identification system (AIS) technology to identify and transmit data on ships in real time. They provide vital information, including the vessel’s position, speed and heading. This data is then relayed to land-based systems that can display the vessel on a map or in an app. There are several online AIS websites that offer near-accurate ship tracking, such as VT Explorer and myshiptracking. These sites are able to display ships’ positions with high accuracy and also provide non-technical and technical details, designated routes and photographs of the vessels.

Another major benefit of ship tracking is the prevention of illegal fishing practices. Using AIS data, authorities can detect fishing activities and monitor IUU zones. Moreover, they can also share this data with other countries to enhance coordination and cooperation efforts against IUU fishing. Ultimately, this helps protect the world’s oceans and its living flora and fauna.

Maritime Data Analytics

The maritime industry has been lagging behind other industries in adopting digital transformation. Whether it’s to streamline logistics, predict operating costs, or support crew wellbeing, maritime companies have a unique opportunity to harness the power of data analysis. This can lead to next-level transparency, superior performance, and cost optimisation.

For example, historical sailing data can be used to analyze usage patterns and forecast navigation costs accurately, enabling ship management to budget more effectively. This is especially important in the midst of fluctuating global economies and geopolitics. Furthermore, predictive analytics can help reduce risk exposure by identifying and predicting weather events, chokepoint blockage, and other potential problems.

Similarly, analyzing a vessel’s energy consumption can help maritime companies optimize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. This can be particularly important in the face of increasing environmental concerns and the threat of non-compliance penalties.

Nevertheless, leveraging the full potential of data analysis in the maritime industry requires more than just an investment in technology. A robust and integrated data handling infrastructure is also necessary to ensure smooth operations, avoid system fatigue, and facilitate collaboration between various stakeholders. This can include developing versatile middleware solutions to enable seamless system integration, ensuring that all data is accessible in real time and securely. Moreover, it’s crucial to establish a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders involved in the maritime data sharing process, in order to foster effective cooperation and minimize security risks.

Digital Ticketing

Ferries serve an important role in island communities. Before engineers learned to build permanent bridges over large bodies of water or tunnel under them, ferries were the only way for people to travel between islands and larger coastal areas. Whether used to cross rivers or seas, these transport vessels come in many shapes and sizes – from small canoes and rafts to motor-driven passenger ships.

With IMO decarbonization targets rising and social pressure mounting, the ferry industry is examining a range of options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, electrification and battery power are two technology innovations with the potential to drive significant change.

The first-of-its-kind electric hydrofoil ferry, Navier, has already made its mark. Powered by lithium batteries, the boat runs silently, emitting no pollution or noise, and can operate at speeds that exceed those of traditional diesel-powered commuter ferries. The company’s backers include high-wattage patrons such as Elon Musk and musician Grimes.

Another ferry technology that can boost sustainability is the use of internal mobile apps for ticketing and communications. These modern tools streamline the ticketing process, simplifying and enhancing the overall customer experience. They also eliminate the need for additional scanning devices, minimizing costs and employee training requirements. These solutions are well-suited for a busy, touristic ferry or tour boat business where efficiency and speed are paramount for customer satisfaction.

Passenger Information Systems

The days of relying on paper timetables or display boards at public transportation stations are long gone. Now, travelers expect to receive real-time running information on their mobile devices or by accessing a website. This technology allows passengers to plan their travel quickly and comfortably, or change their itinerary based on real-world disruptions, such as weather alerts, cancellations, or delays.

PIS is comprised of multiple systems, including data processing and display, as well as interfacing to ticketing and POS (Point of Sale) systems. This technology also provides a central hub for storing and managing passenger information, connecting all public transport companies to one system in order to share timetables, route data, and real-time information.

As passenger information systems continue to evolve, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are being used to predict and communicate travel patterns more accurately. This helps to anticipate potential disruptions and inform travellers of any expected delay in advance, which can significantly improve the quality of service.

Another important component of passenger information systems is the ability to instantly broadcast critical safety instructions or emergency announcements. This can help to reduce congestion and ensure passenger safety in the event of an evacuation or accident, thereby improving efficiency and the overall experience of users. By providing this information on screens and through audio systems, passengers can respond rapidly to any situation – reducing frustration and uncertainty.