Mooring on autopilot. Know-how from Volvo Penta

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Volvo Penta has developed an innovative automatic mooring system. The company has demonstrated a working prototype in action and has promised that it will be publicly available in 2020.

The well-known manufacturer of marine engines intends to ease the life of the owners of motor yachts by creating a system that with maximum precision can moor the vessel without human intervention. «This is especially important considering how difficult it can be to park a» boat in small harbors and crowded marinas.

The company held an official demonstration of its know-how in the port of Gothenburg, Sweden, where the participants of this year's VOR regatta are waiting for the start of the final leg of the round-the-world race.

» To assure the public of the exact and safe system, the organizers allowed a 68' motoryacht equipped with the advanced technology «to automatically moor in the tight space between two VO65 boats.

At the heart of the development is Volvo Penta's IPS joystick maneuvering system, which takes total control of the propulsion system right down to the propeller movement.

In addition, the novelty is equipped with GPS, ultra-precise sensors and onboard computers capable of reacting in milliseconds to the slightest changes of wind and current conditions and making micro-adjustments of power and drive angle.

However, the manufacturer warns not to count on full autonomy - the navigator should always be in control and be ready to take over control at any moment.

If necessary, the mooring process can be suspended, while the system will keep the boat in a fixed position on the water.

The system also requires external sensors to be installed on the mooring. The company expects boat owners to initially place them on permanent moorings and as the technology gains popularity all self-respecting marinas will have them.

It will be available not only for the latest Volvo Penta IPS engines. Developers are also preparing the possibility of carrying out modification of earlier models.

This is the second big news from Volvo Penta this week: the firm plans to bring a range of hybrid and all-electric powertrains to market by 2021.

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