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Enhancing maritime safety

29 May 2013

A new three year European Research Project, part funded by the EU and involving the University has been launched to help increase safety on-board vessels.

CASCADe, (model-based Co-operative and Adaptive Ship-based Context Aware Design) aims to address the lack of symbiosis which exists between current bridge design, operational procedures and the end user.

In the maritime environment there is a proliferation of increasingly complex technology. Studies have shown that the use of instruments with a range of different user interfaces or the provision of too much information can lead to errors and a reduction in performance. This unsatisfactory situation has the potential to create accidents and incidents which may translate into significant remedial and compensation costs. It is vital that a holistic approach is taken when developing ship bridge design, factoring in the required operational procedures and the subsequent end user interaction.

CASCADe will develop an adaptive bridge system that will recognise, prevent and recover from human errors by improving the interaction between crew and machines on the bridge. The main outcome will be a new human-centered design methodology to support the analysis of agent interactions at early design development stages.

Professor Andrew Smith, School of Psychology will lead Cardiff's involvement in the project. Professor Smith said: "This is the third major project on seafarers' health and safety that we have been involved in. Our previous research on seafarers' fatigue and the FLAGSHIP (European Framework for Safe Efficient and Environmentally-Friendly Ship Operations) project have had a major international impact. The present project continues this approach with a special focus on ship bridge operations."

Under the coordination of OFFIS (Oldenburg Research and Development Institute for Information Technology Tools and Systems), a consortium of seven project partners from five EU countries will collaborate, including BMT Group Ltd, Raytheon Anschuetz GmbH, Mastermind Shipmanagement Ltd, Cardiff University, Marimatech AS and Symbio Concepts & Products SPRL.

Four further associated partners including the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany, Nautilus International, NSB Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG and the University of Tasmania will also provide support.

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