New technology allows ships to 'see' in the oceans

Maritime LAseR for collisIon avoidance in high speed shippiNg and vessel traffic mAnagement

Maritime transport remains the backbone of global trade. While this has been the case for thousands of years, shipping is embarking on a new driverless route. With automakers racing to build autonomous cars, remote-controlled commercial ships may not be too far-fetched an idea. The EU-funded MARINA project will take the first steps, addressing a market need to increase the global maritime transport industry’s safety, decrease its environmental impact due to collisions and prepare for a future of autonomous shipping. Specifically, it is developing an innovative solution using a unique and novel LADAR system. To reduce the risk of collision with other ships, mammals or even driftwood, the project will combine state-of-the-art real-time processing with an advanced object detection and classification algorithm based on machine learning techniques.


MARINA will address the technical and commercial roadmaps developed in preceding R&D&I projects to enable rapid and successful product development and commercialization.


The need for LADAR for contact and collision avoidance has been clearly identified and requested by market stakeholders. Ports and navigators express concern over the danger presented by small vessels, debris, driftwood, fishing nets and whales.

marina illustratie

More information about the project can be found at the project website.