Published: 10th June 2021
IIT Madras to develop indigenous Vehicle Traffic Software for smooth management of maritime traffic
This software could eventually be used for monitoring maritime traffic in all ports across India. The focus will be on the operation, manning and maintenance of the vessel traffic system
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras are going to develop an indigenous Vessel Traffic Software (VTS) that will aid in monitoring maritime traffic. This will cater to the smooth management of increasing maritime traffic and help keep pace with global technological developments in the maritime domain. It could eventually be used for monitoring maritime traffic in all ports across India.
Initiated as part of the Maritime Vision 2030 action plans, this software development project is part of a collaboration between IIT Madras and VO Chidambaranar (VOC) Port Trust in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, for which an MoU was signed recently. A VTS is required under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.
The focus will be on the operation, manning and maintenance of the vessel traffic system and the development of indigenous vessel traffic software in Tuticorin. NTCPWC will maintain the existing Vessel Traffic Service, for day-to-day operations and assist pilots in real-time information of tracking of ships and analysis of vessel traffic including Met-Ocean warnings. This maintenance model that will be adopted will help to reduce the cost of the VOC port in terms of maintenance and alert the port at an appropriate time for any repair and replacement through direct employment of the instrument vendor by the port.
The current VTS at VOC Port has been operational for nearly seven years. Given the rapid increases in maritime traffic in India and abroad, a more VTS effective system would help create higher safety levels. This research project will be led by National Technology Centre for Ports Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), a Centre of Excellence at IIT Madras that functions as the technology arm of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India. Elaborating on the unique aspects of this collaboration, Shri TK Ramachandran, IAS, Chairman, VO Chidambaranar Port Trust, Tuticorin, said, "VOC Port is the first Indian Major Port of India to sign MoU with NTCPWC for development of Indigenous software for VTS System. The development of the indigenous system by NTCPWC, as per VOC Port’s requirement, instead of relying on proprietary and costly foreign-made software solutions, will be a game-changer in Indian Maritime Industry."
Speaking about benefits to the Indian maritime sector from this collaboration, K Murali, Professor In-charge, NTCPWC-IIT Madras, said, "The Indigenous VTS software system will open up the pathway for India to develop other indigenous technology solutions that severely depend on overseas solutions."