My childhood was surrounded by water. Growing up, sailing was one of my biggest passions, and by the time I was 17, I was already a licensed skipper.
This passion inspired me to enlist in the Isaeli Navy, which is where I first met my cofounder Dor Raviv, who by the end of his tenure was specialising in unmanned vessels.
We kept in touch after I left to try my hand in the automotive industry, which was just starting to go into the autonomous field and we started talking about what was needed to bring autonomous capabilities to the shipping industry. From there Orca AI was born.
How exactly is Orca AI increasing navigation safety?
Orca AI’s technology helps both the crews on board and the management on shore, get an accurate, real-time view of the environment by combining computer vision and deep learning with existing onboard systems. These tools assist crew members in making more informed navigation decisions and improving safety in crowded waterways. Moreover, Orca AI bridges between ocean-going ships to the shoreside infrastructure providing shipping companies with actionable insights, alerts and recommendations about the safety of their fleet.
Is safety a major concern to shipping companies?
90% of world trade is dependent on the shipping industry. Therefore, ships are the lifeline of global commerce – and vessel safety is critical. Every year, more than 4,000 ship incidents occur and the predominant cause is human error. This creates three major international issues: Billions of dollars in damages, environmental harm and supply chain delays.
Compared with other sectors’ technological advances, maritime navigation is lagging. Shipping crews are still primarily using Radar, AIS (AIS presents various data from sensors on the ship), and electronic maps. All this means that sea navigation is mainly based on the human eye’s input and human interpretation, despite the fact many times waterways have low or even zero visibility.