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Successful AI-project saves fuel on Stena Line vessels

(13 November 2019) Stena Line’s pilot project using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to predict the most fuel-efficient way to operate a vessel has shown to be successful. The results show a reduced fuel consumption by up to 3% per trip. The technology will now be launched on more vessels.

Reducing the vessels fuel consumption is a priority area for Stena Line and the ferry company have a target to lower the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 2.5% yearly. Fuel is also one of the largest costs for a ferry company like Stena Line, at around 20% of total costs. AI has shown to be a successful solution to tackle these challenges and achieve the targets we have set for ourselves.

In 2018 Stena Line started a pilot project onboard the Stena Scandinavia on the Gothenburg – Kiel route using AI technology to predict the most fuel-efficient way to operate a vessel. The results show that the project has been successful, enabling the captain and crew to save 2-3%* fuel per trip with AI assistance. The software is now named Stena Fuel Pilot and will be installed on several other Stena Line vessels operating on routes to and from Sweden, Germany and Denmark during the autumn. The ambition is to do a complete fleet wide roll-out on all 37 vessels in Europe during 2020.

“Stena Line aims to become the world’s first cognitive ferry company; assisted by AI in all areas by 2021. This project is using AI technology to support our captains and officers to save fuel. By improving the efficiency, we reduce both our costs and our environmental footprint. It really embodies Stena Line’s vision of Connecting Europe for a Sustainable future”, says Jari Virtanen, Chief Transformation Officer at Stena Line.

A team and technological effort

This ground-breaking project within the shipping and transportation industry would not be possible without the highly skilled people working at Stena Line.

“This is a result of a successful collaboration between man, woman, and machine; between people and technology; between a team of skilled software developers, data scientists and finally a committed captain and his crew on Stena Scandinavia, says Jari Virtanen.

Working side by side in this project, Stena Lines Head of AI Lars Carlsson, and Senior Master Jan Sjöström from Stena Scandinavia has been key players in the success of the project. With more than 40 years of experience handling Stena Line’s vessels in a safe and fuel-efficient way Jan Sjöström is looking forward to continuing to share both his experience and his new insights about AI technology.

“Planning a trip and handling a vessel in a safe and, at the same time, fuel efficient way is craftsmanship. Practice makes perfect, but when assisted by AI a captain or officer can improve how to optimise fuel quicker, in return, this contributes to a more sustainable journey”, says Jan Sjöström. 

*Verified by the external third party Statistikkonsulterna

How it works

The model simulates many different scenarios before suggesting the most optimal route and performance setup during the trip. A large number of variables are considered such as currents, weather conditions, shallow water and speed through water in various combinations. Without AI technology it would not be possible to do it manually.