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Brunswick, the world’s largest recreational marine technology company, today announced its plans to create future boats with self-docking abilities and more.
The exhibit at the CES 2023 shows that AI is working its way into all industries and products. On top of that, Brunswick is showing off more electric-powered boating technologies and its designs for the helm of the future.
During CES, Brunswick will launch the first commercial model in Mercury Marine’s Avator 48V electric outboard series, as well as highlighting Navico Group’s newly launched Fathom e-power system – a lithium-ion power management system that replaces the role of combustion engine generators in supplying power for onboard systems in marine and RV applications.
Additionally, Brunswick will unveil its newest boat brand designed to accommodate Mercury’s Avator electric propulsion.
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Electrification of boat motors is happening broadly. But it’s interesting to see just how Brunswick is using AI technologies in concert with electric power and internet connectivity. One of the things it will show is how a boat will be able to dock itself and stop in the middle of the process if other boats approach.
Brunswick will demonstrate its latest connectivity solutions and bring to life the possibilities for marine autonomy through an interactive 140-degree helm experience in the Las Vegas Convention Center. You’ll be able to control a boat using something more like a video game controller, with a video screen and more.
“We are very excited to once again be exhibiting in person at CES 2023 and to demonstrate the rapid development of our ACES strategy on a global stage,” said Dave Foulkes, Brunswick CEO, in a statement. “CES is a platform that stretches well beyond our industry, and we will take full advantage of the opportunity to showcase to the global audience our unique capabilities as we continue to develop the most advanced technologies in the marine industry.”
In an email to VentureBeat, Foulkes said the simulator shows what the company’s ACES team has in development with more completely automated and intelligent sensor-based solutions for docking, object detection and avoidance, and maneuvering.
The simulator is a 140 degree interactive future helm demonstration with realistic physics where attendees can operate and dock a boat in an exciting simulated environment with boat traffic and other obstacles.
“We are also using it to train our development ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems) in environments that are difficult or hazardous to access in a real vessel,” Foulkes said.
The company doesn’t have a date for commercialization, but the technology is not all in simulation – it’s much closer to reality, Foulkes said.
”We recently previewed our auto-docking technology at a testing facility in Florida. And it has footage that shows one of the Boston Whaler development boats equipped with the latest ADAS system docking itself and also recognizing other objects on the boat.
“The system uses an array of six stereo-cameras to sense the dock and obstacles it must maneuver around. The cameras have been onboard the boat for a full season of saltwater boating without cleaning and are continuing to perform well which is a touch test,” Foulkes said.
Earlier this year, Foulkes committed to expecting to have more than 35 new ACE products across our enterprise by 2025.
The helm was developed in partnership with students at the University of Illinois who are part of the Brunswick I-Jet Lab.
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