ModularShipAssist - Autonomous and cooperative modules for commanded ship assistance in ports

The development of autonomous shipping is progressing rapidly worldwide. The first autonomous ships are already in regular operation. In contrast, port-side maneuvering assistance is the part of the transport chain that is currently still carried out completely manually. The aim of the project is to develop an autonomous and modular assistance system consisting of a variable number of electrically driven tug modules and a mobile control box. Based on the commanded requirements of the harbor pilot or the captain of the assisted vessel, this system shall provide assistance in maneuvering in the harbor in a simple and intuitive way. For this purpose, the required modules and their autonomous control systems will be designed with the help of newly developed numerical simulation methods and tested on a model scale. The capabilities of the developed assistance system will then be demonstrated under real conditions in the port. The planned assistance system will provide the port industry with an efficient and environmentally friendly technology for handling conventional and autonomous ships. In the future, this will be a clear competitive advantage in the competition between international ports.


Project Acronym


Project Title

Autonom und kooperativ agierende Module zur kommandierten Schiffsassistenz in Häfen

Duration 2023-01-01 - 2025-12-31
Principal Investigator Moustafa Abdel-Maksoud
Researchers Ole Detlefsen, Lukas Altenbach

Project partners

  J.M. Voith SE & Co. KG | VTA

Universität Rostock – IAT

Associated partners

HPA Hamburg Port Authority AöR

Fairplay Schleppdampfschiffs-Reederei Richard Borchard GmbH

Hafenlotsenbrüderschaft Hamburg