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As part of the mFUND research initiative, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is supporting the DataSOW project with around 43,000 euros. The project was initiated by TITUS Research GmbH. DataSOW will start in January 2021 and will contribute to advancing the development of autonomously operating inland vessels. To this end, tests will be carried out on the Spree-Oder waterway so that unmanned vessels can recognise the infrastructure on inland waterways in the future.

Inland navigation faces major challenges with regard to highly automated or autonomous operations, which is explained in particular by the very complex environmental conditions. Autonomous inland navigation vessels must also be able to orient themselves in the real world – despite all the digitalisation. With the DataSOW project, TITUS Research GmbH is using artificial intelligence (AI) to significantly advance the development of autonomously operating inland vessels.


Spree-Oder-Wasserstraße (SOW) / Quelle: WSV, digitale Bundeswasserstraßenkarte DBWK1000

To this end, image data of the infrastructure on the Spree-Oder-Wasserstraße (SOW) is being collected and compiled in a dataset. This is used to develop an AI module that recognises and classifies infrastructure components. The resulting data will be made available for assistance and control systems in real time. The Spree-Oder waterway comprises several congestion controlled river and canal sections, from the Lower Havel waterway from the mouth of the Spree to the Oder in Eisenhüttenstadt. Within the framework of the project, TITUS Research cooperates with the Waterways and Shipping Authority (WSA) Spree-Havel.