A vessel train designed for operations in waterways will benefit from developments already underway in other projects or from products produced by technology providers. Examples are dock locking systems, bridge height measurement systems, and river information services. These developments are out of scope of NOVIMAR but will be identified in support of assessing the opportunities of the concept.
Dock locking system
Vessel train operations can benefit from developments in dock locking systems. Such systems enable the mooring of ships without the deployment of mooring crews or linesmen. The opportunity is that a leader vessel can manoeuver the follower vessel towards a quay or into a lock, after which the vessel is moored to the quay or alongside another vessel with the dock locking system. Systems are developed for placement on ships and for shore.
Bridge height measurement systems
Vessel train operations can benefit from developments in bridge height measurement systems for inland shipping. Such systems use a sensor on the bow of the vessel that is connected to a computer in the wheelhouse. Using special software, the system calculates whether the highest part of the vessel can safely pass under a bridge. Such a system enables the leader vessel to take the necessary measures in the event of a collision warning.
River information services
Vessel train operations can support European developments in River Information Services (RIS), as RIS are designed to enhance safety and efficiency of inland waterway transport (www.ris.eu). Focal aspect is a swift demand oriented electronic data transfer between water and shore through real-time exchange of information. The development of RIS, in combination with cost-effective and environmentally friendly logistics operations, enhances the competitive edge of inland waterway transport in the supply chain. The policy importance of RIS is presented in various EU policy papers, i.e.EC White paper, TEN-T Guidelines, NAIADES, Logistics Action Plan.