Crowley and ABS, a leading provider in maritime classification and advisory services, have entered an agreement to jointly explore how to advance the use of augmented and virtual reality technologies for vessels and other marine environments.

The ABS partnership agreement builds on Crowley’s new service network using augmented reality on select vessels. Crew wear goggle technology to provide real-time visuals of ship equipment to remote technicians to collaborate on solutions. The technology, developed by Kognitiv Spark, allows mariners and shoreside crew to more quickly complete maintenance, updates and upgrades on board with digital collaboration.

ABS and Crowley will collaborate in a joint pilot project for classification-related survey support activities, such as aspects of annual and special surveys including task crediting. In addition, the project will include a variety of activities involving surveyors, engineers and back-office survey support, virtual walkthroughs and livestreaming using fully remote and hybrid survey techniques. Successful class surveys are important to operate vessels.

“Augmented reality technology is a field technology, so in collaborating with forward-looking companies like Crowley, we can explore what’s possible for future survey operations as well as for safety in use. ABS class services are leading the industry and finding ways to enrich the data used to both streamline the class process and also keep mariners and our surveyors safe,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS senior vice president and chief technology officer.

Crowley owns and operates a diverse U.S. and foreign flag fleet that includes, container, roll on/roll off (RoRo), tug, dry cargo and offshore wind development and service operation vessels. The collaboration with ABS will leverage its ongoing innovation efforts to bring more efficient and sustainable operations through technology. Kognitiv Spark and Crowley presented its AR operating system technology at Crowley’s inaugural Innovation Expo this year as an example of this effort.

“Partnership is key to sustainable growth and success in maritime services, and we look forward to working with ABS to advance innovation technology for the benefit of our maritime ecosystem and our customers,” said Cole Cosgrove, vice president, Crowley Shipping. “These innovations will provide mariners a safer and more efficient option and allow us to provide services for our customers that are even more reliable and effective.” ABS is leading the way forward in applying technologies such as high-resolution laser scanning, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), crawlers, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and wearable technologies to augment traditional class-related surveys and inspections.