Oscar - Collision avoidance by artificial intelligence
Wednesday, June 3, 2020 11:03 AM
Oscar’s eyes are thermal and colour cameras, his brain is powered by artificial intelligence.
Oscar enhances vigilance and improves safety of ships and crews, both day and night. Oscar has been developed in close cooperation with leading offshore-racing teams of the Imoca 60 and Ultim classes, and is now installed on an increasing number of leisure boats, commercial ships and super yachts – both power and sail.
Oscar detects floating objects whether or not they are identifiable or so-called Unknown Floating Objects (UFO’s) in a bid to reduce the risk of maritime collision.
Raphaël Biancale, a Franco-German automotive engineer, is the founder and CEO of BSB Group and has invented and developed Oscar. Today the Oscar team combines around 20 engineers in 3 countries, focused on computer vision and artificial intelligence.
Oscar consists of two thermal cameras, one color camera and a processing unit. With the help of artificial intelligence and deep learning technology, the system detects floating objects by day as well as by night, when the human eye has difficulties to identify obstacles. Non-signaled crafts, sleeping whales, wooden logs, containers and debris or other floating objects are detected, which neither the crew, nor the radar or sonar system will detect. Owners, skippers and crews benefit from increased safety as well as more comfort and peace of mind during navigation especially at night: Oscar will warn them once a risk for collision occurs.
The ultimate target is to automatically avoid collisions by connecting Oscar to the autopilot. Today’s autopilots steer a boat by considering the set course and, as far as sailing-yachts are concerned, the wind direction. Tomorrow, obstacles along the route will be identified and avoided. Familiar with the heading and speed of the floating object, OSCAR will be able to pass this information across to the autopilot and, with the skipper’s consent, automatically divert the boat’s trajectory in case of a collision risk.
After months of intensive development with leading offshore racing teams, the Oscar Advanced Series was launched, which covers a wide range of boats from small to large, sailing and motorboats, leisure and commercial .
The Oscar Advanced Series offers integration with the boat communication bus, can be displayed on selected MFDs of renown marine electronics brands, and is now commercially available.
In addition to the daily development of the software, the BSB Group is now focusing on strengthening the dealer network.