The BSB Group has announced the launch of OSCAR, an automated monitoring system to support navigation and help to prevent collisions with objects at sea. The new system enhances vigilance and can improve the safety of vessels and crews, having been developed in close cooperation with leading offshore-racing teams. It is now being installed on an increasing number of leisure yachts, commercial ships and superyachts – both motor and sail.
OSCAR detects floating objects, whether or not they are identifiable, in a bid to reduce the risk of maritime collisions. The system consists of two thermal cameras, one colour 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 identifying obstacles.
OSCAR detects non-signalled crafts, sleeping whales, wooden logs, containers, debris and other floating objects, which neither crew, nor the radar or sonar system would be able to. Owners, captains and crews benefit from increased safety as well as more comfort and peace of mind during navigation, especially at night: the system will provide an alert once risk of collision is established.
The ultimate goal of the system 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. With the integration of OSCAR, obstacles along the route will be identified and avoided. Familiar with the heading and speed of the floating object, the system will be able to pass this information across to the autopilot and, with the helm's consent, automatically divert the boat’s trajectory in case of a collision risk.
After months of development with leading offshore racing teams, the OSCAR Advanced Series has been launched, which covers a wide range of boats from small to large, sailing and motor, leisure and commercial. The Advanced Series offers integration with the boat communication bus, can be displayed on selected MFDs of renowned marine electronics brands, and is now commercially available.
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