Protection and indemnity insurer NorthStandard has entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership with Orca AI to encourage investment in navigational situational awareness technology.

The Newcastle and London-based mutual will encourage its members to use the Orca AI system.

The safety system uses a wide range of sensor inputs along with AI-driven data technology to help ships safely navigate in challenging weather and congested waters.

It also allows shipowners and operators to identify safety gaps and trends that require action.

NorthStandard said it will include the Orca AI system in its Get SET! package of navigational safety resources and will subsidise the investment.

“Having seen how Orca AI supports the bridge team by improving their situational awareness we are confident that it reduces the number of close-quarters situations,” NorthStandard global head of loss prevention Colin Gillespie said.

“By extension, this must reduce the number of collisions, so it was an easy decision to partner with them to support NorthStandard members in enhancing the safety of their operations,” he said.

There should be some additional cost benefits for shipowners who have signed up for P&I cover with NorthStandard as the system promises to reduce the bridge workload and human error.

It is also hoped ships can avoid unnecessary manoeuvres and speed drops, reducing fuel burn and emissions. AI technology also helps the platform to optimise operations, thereby reducing costs and minimising environmental impacts.

Orca AI has built up a dataset over four years from more than 250 vessels, totalling 20 million nautical miles.

This data is synchronised with inputs from GPS, radar, AIS, depth, wind, rudder, and gyrocompass sensors.

Orca AI chief executive and co-founder Yarden Gross said: “The widespread availability of advanced satellite connectivity has ushered in a new era of AI-driven technologies that connect ships to shore and has opened up exciting possibilities for data-driven decision-making and enhanced operational transparency.”