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The University of Southampton

Machine learning shipping app cuts 250,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions

Published: 15 July 2020
LNG carriers
The JAWS app helped save 250,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from LNG carriers. Image credit: Shell

Engineers from the University of Southampton and Shell Shipping and Maritime have trained an energy shipping app to save over a quarter of a million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Researchers from the partners’ Centre for Maritime Futures developed a digital dashboard that helps captains respond to changing sea conditions.

The Just Add Water, or JAWS, app interprets depths and angles of a ship known as the draught and trim to optimise the amount of fuel and power needed in any given situation.

Postgraduate research student Amy Parkes helped introduce a new machine learning technique during her PhD in the Maritime Engineering research group, where her time has been divided between Southampton and Shell.

Engineers trialled the system on a fleet of over a dozen 300m-long liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers for 12 months, cumulatively recording the saving of 250,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to a fuel saving of $90 million.

“Shell collects an enormous amount of data from these vessels and this app is designed to monitor and adapt to these variables to save power without changing the ship’s overall speed,” Amy says.

“Once the technology has developed further, we intend for the dashboard to monitor the ship state alongside weather conditions and make adjustments autonomously.”

Amy presented findings from app research at the AI UK conference run by The Alan Turing Institute in June.

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