The General Directorate of the Merchant Marine admits the first registration of an unmanned autonomous vessel in Spain

By November 2, 2020 News

The General Directorate of the Merchant Marine (DGMM) admits the first registration of an unmanned autonomous vessel in Spain, the PLOCAN THREE, which has been developed by the Spanish company UTEK.

The registration process has been carried out through the Maritime Captaincy of Las Palmas in order to be operated in accordance with the DGMM Service Instruction 01/2019 and after successful tests at the PLOCAN’s marine test-site.

This innovative development has been carried out within the framework of the ECUVE (Environmental Control with Unmanned Vessels) project funded through EATIC 2018 program by the Ministry of Economy, Industry, Commerce and Knowledge of the Canary Islands Government through its Canary Islands Research Agency, Innovation and Information Society (ACIISI). At the present time, PLOCAN is the owner of the vessel.

The unmanned autonomous vessel is based on a commercial rubber-boat model of 6.7 meters in length suited by 175 hp outboard engine on which have been developed and integrated state-of-the-art systems for both telemetry and control as well as vision and sensors intended for environmental monitoring and surveillance. This new concept of autonomous, multifunctional and highly modular boat, offers unprecedented potential in terms of capabilities, applications and synergies between sectors, highlighting search and rescue, surveillance and protection of infrastructures and ports, as well as specific tasks related to marine environment.

This new navigation technology improves and increases the capabilities for operational safety, efficiency and sustainability in line with the MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship) strategy and standards currently promoted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) related to the navigation of autonomous maritime surface vessels in safe, protective and environmentally sustainable conditions.