Artificial intelligence has been hailed as the saviour of everything from marketing and financial services to healthcare and education but Swedish ferry operator Stena Line is now embracing the technology in a drive to become more environmentally friendly.
The company, which has implemented AI to both improve fuel efficiency and cut costs, has hailed the results of a pilot scheme, which indicates that the technology has the potential to revolutionise how ships operate.
In the trial, fuel consumption on the Stena Scandinavica was cut by up to 3% per trip. The company now plans to use the same technology on more of its vessels in a project led by Stena’s AI department.
AI systems specialist Semcon is working on the scheme to help develop and deliver a broad range of AI-driven data management systems. These are largely based on advanced innovations in AI, data mining and information architecture and will be used in Stena’s existing and future shipping projects.
With fuel being one of Stena’s biggest operating expenses - expected to account for about 20% of the group’s total costs in 2019 - the AI software trial is linked to the company’s target of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 2.5% a year.
The software is now being installed on five other Stena Line ships, and the company plans to complete a fleet-wide roll-out of the technology on its 37 vessels in Europe during 2020.
Stena Line chief transformation officer Jari Virtanen said: “Our ambition is for Stena 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 efficiency, we reduce both our costs and our environmental footprint.”