Computer-Based Vision

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Maritime Tracking Industry - Top Players

The top five providers of vision-based maritime vessel tracking software/systems based on their overall revenue are Synectics, Controp, Wuhan Huazhiyang Technology, Klein Marine System, and ViSense.

Findings

#1. Anti-piracy solutions offered by Synectics.

  • Synectics' product uses cooled and uncooled thermal cameras that offer precise targeting and make a visual assessment of detected threats at a range of up to 25 nautical miles.
  • The company is based in the UK and registered a revenue of £71.2 million ($91.7 million) in 2018.

#2. Controp's Maritime Scanning Systems

  • It is used on land or on small boats and swimmers to conduct surveillance and observation of the coastline.
  • The system is coupled with the CONTROP EO/IR gyro-stabilized camera payload system.
  • The company is based in Maryland, US and has a revenue of $38.2 million.

#3. HEOS Automatic Vessel Tracking System

  • The tracking system is provided by a Chinese company, Wuhan Huazhiyang Technology.
  • The HEOS shipboard electro-optics tracking and surveillance (evidence-taking) system is installed on the top deck of the ship, with the display and control console are installed in the pilot room.
  • The targets are observed, monitored and searched by the high performance color CCD camera system.
  • The overall revenue of the company is $32.22 million.

#4. HarborGuard-Pro software by Klein Marine System

  • The software provides a flexible solution that can be scaled and customized to fit most maritime security applications.
  • The solution is able to detect small boats such as Jet Ski's, rubber rafts, kayaks, and canoes.
  • The software automatically assigns a camera to lock-on and track the detected target.
  • The overall revenue of Klein Marine System, headquartered in Texas, was $7.47 million at the end of 2018.

#5. ViSense MaritimeDynamics

  • The company provides specialized products for waterways such as the automated detection and classification of all types of vessels as well as insight into the usage and safety of harbors, bridges, locks and other inland waterways.
  • The detection and classification system consists of an advanced analysis unit and a high-grade camera sensor.
  • The company is based in the Netherlands and has an estimated revenue of $1.41 million.

Additional Notable Companies

Robopec's Software :
TITAN Coastal System by Xanatos Marines
  • Using this system, user can set up a geo-fence that is automatically engaged when a vessel enters it.
  • After detection, the nearest camera would lock-on to the target and, if necessary, place the target in a separate window for continued monitoring.
  • The overall revenue of Xanatos, which is headquartered in Canada, is $1.2 million.


Part
02
of four
Part
02

Maritime Tracking Industry - Top Consumers (Safety)

While we were unable to locate sources that ranked (or even segmented) the market by industries and organizations for vision/camera-based maritime tracking software, we did, however, successfully identify different organizations and industries looking to adopt or making initial contracts with companies that provide this technology. Below are some helpful insights concerning five different industries/organizations (Shipping, Defense/Border Control, Fisheries Monitoring, Scientific Research Industry, and Recreational Boating) and their need for vision-based maritime tracking software systems. Note, the industries below are not ranked in any particular order.

Helpful Insights

Shipping Industry

  • Maersk, which is the most profitable shipping company globally, recently entered into a contract with Sea Machines for vision/camera-based maritime detection software (specifically, AI-powered situational-awareness and object tracking using computer vision).
  • 90% of trade ("by volume") depends on the shipping industry for the UK, which makes ensuring safety and security of vessels a high priority via autonomous vessels (including, AI-powered, vision-based tracking software systems that are able to detect and track objects and achieve situational awareness). Autonomous vessels are far more efficient insofar as they require far less manpower.

Naval Defense, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Control

  • U.S. agencies, including the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Control (CBP), Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Border Patrol Air & Marine Operations (AMO), are increasingly relying on technological innovations--including vision-based maritime tracking software--to protect U.S. borders. The Coast Guard put out an RFI for lower cost maritime surveillance technologies.
  • A September 2019 Congressional Report relays that the U.S. Navy is looking to acquire and increase spending on technologies (including vision-based maritime tracking software systems) powering autonomous vessels in its defense strategy. Another new story reports that the U.S. Navy is searching for companies to help them acquire more "electro-optical situational awareness technologies" for their warships.

Fisheries Monitoring

  • The Environmental Defense Fund put out a report in 2018 articulating the need to increase the monitoring of fisheries, ensuring they remain within catch limits set to protect habitats and prevent overfishing. Among the technologies recommended--and evaluated--are vision-based tracking software systems to monitor the compliance of fisheries with regulations.
  • Global Fishing Watch announced its turn to vision based maritime surveillance to monitor and curb nighttime, illegal fishing. Vision-based technologies are particularly useful for detecting smaller vessels that either turn of their AIS transponders or do not have them.
  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also put out together an inventory of new technologies for monitoring fisheries, including video-based tracking systems.

Scientific Research Industry

  • The (U.S.) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries division announced a partnership with commercial fisherman to collect scientific data on fisheries using new technologies, including vision-based maritime tracking software systems. Since 2006, NOAA has invested $27million in these tracking technologies.

Recreational Boating

  • A 2018 industry report estimates that the recreational boating industry spending will increase to over $28.5 billion by 2024. A press release from FLIR announced a new partnership with Prestige Yachts to include vision-based tracking software systems to increase safety during boat docking.

Research Strategy

In order to rank and/or segment the market by industry/organization in the U.S., Europe, and Canada, the team first made the assumption we could locate industry reports forecasting the projected CAGR for companies manufacturing vision-based tracking software systems. The idea here is that analysis of the market would rank the different industries in terms of their projected spending on these technologies. However, in searching market forecasting reports (e.g., Market Watch, Market Research, Smithers, and Market Reports World) we were unable to locate any focusing specifically on this market and/or that were not behind pay walls.

We then tried to get at the same information--ranking/market segmentation--by searching governmental reports (e.g. congressional reports) and white papers (e.g., NOAA) identifying and evaluating emerging technologies (e.g., maritime vision-based tracking software systems) and identifying industries that are early adopters. Our hypothesis was that governmental bodies might research this in order to contextualize their own budgetary requests for acquiring such maritime vision-based tracking systems. Unfortunately, we did not locate information with this strategy.

Finally, we attempted to search regulatory agencies over maritime related industries (e.g., recreational boating, commercial fishing, and shipping) that require monitoring/surveillance systems for safety and environmental protection. Here, we made the assumption that regulatory bodies (e.g., EPA and OECD) would identify and rank segments of the market for vision-based tracking software systems (and related systems) because of the economic importance and environmental impact of these industries/organizations. Once again, we were unable to locate sources that allowed us to rank the market with a scientific, evidence-based method.

Insofar as we were unable to rank and segment the market, we could not estimate the annual budget for ranked industries/organizations. However, from our previous searches described above, and previous research done, we made some assumptions about important industries and organizations likely to adopt vision-based maritime tracking systems. We gleaned insights underlying our assumptions from reports on the rise of autonomous vessels for monitoring--reports that also identified likely industries that would create demands (e.g., Military and Aerospace Electronics). We also followed up suggestions of industries to research from previous research on this topic.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

Maritime Tracking Industry - Top Consumers (Automated Tracking)

The research team could not find any information on the top companies/industries that currently employ automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems to enhance operation autonomy and do not use satellite imagery. We have, however, provided some useful insights below.

Helpful Findings

Companies/industries Using Vessel Tracking Systems (Including Satellite Imagery)

  • According to Transparency Market Research, various vessel types such as passenger carriers, cargo ships, and navy employ vessel tracking systems.
  • According to Market Watch, various industries such as government, defense, and commercial employ vessel tracking systems.
  • According to Future Market Insights, various end-users such as defense, transportation, fishing vessels, and others employ vessel tracking systems.

Companies/industries Using Automatic Identification System (AIS)

Companies/industries Using Long Range Tracking and Identification (LRIT)

Some Customers of Big Ocean Data

Some Customers of Wartsila

Some Customers of CNS Systems

Research Strategy

The research team started with directly searching for any industry reports and market studies on automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems since such reports provide details on the top industries making use of such systems. We came across numerous reports published by Transparency Market Research, Market Watch, and Future Market Insights, which provided numerous end-users and/or end-use industries that make use of automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems. However, none of the reports provided a further breakdown of revenue generated from each segment. This information could mostly be a part of the paid versions of the reports. In addition, all the reports provided information on the overall vessel tracking systems market, including the SAR technology.

Next, we searched through various articles and media publications on websites specializing in maritime technology for articles related to the use of various technologies, which do not make use of satellite imagery such as AIS and LRIT. The idea here was to find any industry publication or article around top organizations/industries currently using such technology. We came across several articles published by Marine Insight, Port Vision, and GeoCento, which provided various end-users of AIS and LRI-based automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems. However, none of the articles provided any information on top end-users or any further breakdown based on their spend. In addition, since the end-users found for each technology, that is, AIS and LRIT, differ widely, they could not be presented as overall top industries currently employing automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems that are not based on satellite imagery.

In addition, we came across a research paper that only provided information on the challenges in vision-based tracking of vessels. The paper did not provide any further information on top companies/industries making use of such systems.

Further, we searched through the websites, press releases, and annual reports for the top providers of vessel tracking systems identified in the earlier market reports for any information on top customers in the market. The idea here was to check through all the identified providers and find information on their top customers. Since these are top providers in the market, their common top customers would account to be overall top companies/industries that currently employ automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems to enhance operation autonomy.

After checking through all the identified companies namely, Big Ocean Data, ORBCOMM, SAAB Group, Harris Corporation, Echol Tech Pte Ltd., Garmin International, Wartsila Oyb Abp, CNS Systems AB, Raytheon Company, and L-3 Communication Holding, we were able to find some information on the companies’ customers and end-users for Big Ocean Data, Wartsila, and CNS Systems. However, since these customers and end-users differed widely, they could not be presented as overall top industries currently employing automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems that are not based on satellite imagery.

Thereby, after exhausting the above-mentioned strategies, we concluded that limited information is available on top companies/industries that currently employ automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems to enhance operation autonomy that does not use satellite imagery.

One of the probable reasons for the unavailability of such information could be that market research firms publish limited information in the public domain and such specific information would be a part of the paid versions of the reports. It could also be possible that none of the providers of automated maritime vessel tracking software/systems has disclosed their top customers for competitive reasons.


Part
04
of four
Part
04

Maritime Tracking Industry - Top Segments

While there was very limited information on the consumer segments of maritime vessel tracking software/systems, the available data has been used to compile some useful insights: based on market research reports, the key end-users of maritime vessel tracking software/systems would be governments, defense entities, and commercial operators. Below is an overview of the useful findings as well as an explanation of the research strategies used.

Helpful Findings

  • According to both Mordor Intelligence and Market Reports World, the key end-users of maritime vessel tracking software/systems would be governments, defense entities, and commercial operators. There is no further breakdown without subscription.
  • According to Mordor Intelligence, the vessel tracking software/systems market will grow at an 11.40% CAGR between 2018 and 2023.
  • According to Transaparency Market Research, the key drivers of the maritime vessel tracking software/systems market are high levels of vessel traffic and piracy incidences, as well as an increase in the "demand for safe navigation in international waters."
  • Additionally, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has made it a requirement for vessels from all member states to use monitoring and tracking software.
  • "Long Range Identification & Tracking (LRIT)" is a major trend in the sector that "is being actively incorporated in the military and defense sectors" to ease the recognition of potential threats.
  • The APAC region has emerged as the leading global market due to the high number of maritime vessel registrations in ASEAN and China.
  • Furthermore, the cargo ship segment is projected to lead the market for vessel tracking systems, followed by the passenger ship category.


RESEARCH STRATEGY

Our research for the top consumers of maritime vessel tracking software/systems by spend began by searching through market research reports, statistical sites, and both U.S. and international media reports for any readily available information. The research team hoped that market research and statistics resources had conducted relevant research and that media resources had reported the results or highlighted any opinions by experts. We managed to find several paywalled market research reports published by resources such as Mordor Intelligence and Market Reports World that provided three broad user segments and indicated that they contained a breakdown of the key end-users of maritime vessel tracking software/systems. We also found another paywalled report by Transaparency Market Research that provided additional information on the key players and segmentation by vessel type and system. However, there was nothing that could enable us to determine the top consumer segments by total spend.

Next, the research team decided to leverage the information provided by the aforementioned resources to identify the top users of the vessel tracking software/systems. We first explored the companies (such as Big Ocean Data and SAAB Group) identified as top vendors of the systems but they did not provide any information on their key user segments. Most companies, including Big Ocean Data, only indicated that they served a comprehensive customer base. Second, we explored the trends identified in the reports top determine if they were driven by growth in any particular user segment(s). One of the key trends was "Long Range Identification & Tracking" which we identified was mostly used by the military/defense segments such as the U.S. Coast Guard, which were already identified in the research reports.

Our third strategy was to explore authorities in the maritime industry such as the International Maritime Organization and the International Maritime Organization. We also considered maritime-focused resources such as The Nautical Magazine and the Maritime Reporter. The research team hoped that they had conducted their own surveys or reported any findings from industry reports. However, the former resources mostly contained information on the state and regulations in the overall industry while the latter resources focused on the top software/systems and trends.

Having found no readily available information, the research team has provided information that we believe would be useful. The required information seems to be available, but only for purchase. We recommend exploring the resources by Mordor Intelligence and Market Reports World for further information.


Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Our software allows us to detect maritime objects and ships through an IR (infrared) camera. A 300 m buoy is detected from 200 m to 400 m depending on the sea state. No external instrumentation such as GPS, Inertial Measurement Unit or compass is required."
Quotes
  • "The modular design of HarborGuard-Pro hardware and software components provides a flexible solution that can be scaled and customized to fit most maritime security applications."
  • "The detection capabilities of the system have been tested and verified against small boats (such as Jet Ski's, rubber rafts, kayaks, and canoes), surface swimmers, floating mines and other simulated waterborne improvised explosive devices (WBIED). "
  • "The detected targets are classified by user-defined rule sets and the system alerts the operator and automatically assigns a camera to lock-on and track the offending targets."
Quotes
  • "TITAN Coastal System has over 50 features which take the data feed from each of the sensors installed along the coastline and presents the data in an efficient manner. "
  • "As an example, the user may set-up a geo-fence which is automatically engaged when a vessel enters it. The alarm is then sounded and the vessel details are stored on the database. The nearest camera will also lock-onto the target and, if necessary, place the target in a separate window for continued monitoring."
Quotes
  • "ViSense MaritimeDynamics is the specialized product for waterways. The automated detection and classification of all types of vessels gives insight into the usage and safety of harbors, bridges, locks and other inland waterways"
  • "The ViSense system consists of an advanced analysis unit and a high-grade camera sensor. The stylish, compact and energy efficient analysis unit is a wise addition to your premises. With the optional server mount, the analysis unit can be mounted in a 19 inch server rack."
Quotes
  • "The director of HEOS series shipboard electro-optics tracking, surveillance (evidence-taking) system is installed on the top deck of the ship, display and control console is installed in the pilot room. The targets are observed, monitored and searched by the high performance color CCD camera system in the daytime, are searched and observed by the infrared thermal imaging system at night."
Quotes
  • "Through absolute positioning, both cooled and uncooled thermal cameras may be precisely targeted to make a visual assessment of detected threats at distances up to a range of 25NM. This specific application is central to the anti-piracy solutions offered by Synectics."
Quotes
  • "For detection of intruders – on the land or in the water (small boats or swimmers), surveillance and observation of coastlines, the CONTROP scanning and observation systems have been proven to provide the ultimate answer for police and coastguard requirements. They can be coupled with the CONTROP EO / IR gyro-stabilized camera payload systems on manned or unmanned airborne platforms, or with the iSea maritime surveillance systems on manned or unmanned maritime platforms."
From Part 03
Quotes
  • "There is a wide variety of vessel tracking systems that are available in the naval vessel market and each has its own unique feasibility. The most common among the wide array of vessel tracking system is the GPS."
  • "A vessel tracking system like the Automatic Identification System (AIS) uses the GPS technology to aid and serve as transmission and receiving points using the VHF radio channels."
  • "The AIS acts as a transmitting and receiving interference between ships and coast guards with the help of which not only location of a particular ship but also its position can be monitored. "
  • "AIS is very helpful as it helps to prevent onboard collision, helps ships charter and alter their routes whenever and wherever necessary and in case of coast guards, helps them to find a ship that could be interfering or manipulating law."
Quotes
  • "AIS, short for Automatic Identification System, is an automatic ship tracking system used onboard ships as well as onshore VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) systems to monitor vessel movements around the world."
  • "However, since then, AIS data has evolved into a vital tool for a number of different maritime stakeholders, including: shipowners, cargo owners, vessel operators, cargo dispatchers, marine service providers, terminal operators, charters, traders, maritime law firms, and many more."
Quotes
  • "This is where satellite imagery can help. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery uses radio waves to image the Earth’s surface."
Quotes
  • "CNS Systems has delivered various AIS installations and networks worldwide to customers such as Coast Guards and Navies, Maritime Authorities, Offshore Operators and Port Operators."
Quotes
  • "Even well documented problems of horizon detection and registration of frames in a video are very challenging in maritime scenarios. More advanced problems of background subtraction and object detection in video streams are very challenging. "
  • "Challenges arising from the dynamic nature of the background, unavailability of static cues, presence of small objects at distant backgrounds, illumination effects, all contribute to the challenges as discussed here."