Are you ready for a revolutionary “assisted docking” system? Today at Lake X, PDB staff watched the unveiling of an assisted docking system by Mercury Marine and Raymarine aboard a Boston Whaler Outrage. Viewing this new technology gave us a small glimpse into the future of boating, and lucky for us, it’s a bright one.
At Lake X, the new Raymarine DockSense assisted-docking system was featured on a 33-foot Boston Whaler Outrage rigged with twin Mercury Verado engines with JPO, and with Mercury’s advanced piloting assist system.
“It really is impressive. We were just drifting, talking and the system kicks in and keeps us from hitting the sea wall,” shared Brady L. Kay, Executive Editor of PDB magazine. “With all of the cameras around the perimeter of the boat it really makes you aware of the surroundings. It’s kind of like a back-up camera in you car, but ten times better.”
Mercury’s new assisted-docking system is a core technology based on the latest aerospace control systems and autonomous-car Artificial Intelligence. Its autonomous system will support a wide variety of future uses for assisted and semi-autonomous functionality, as it can be integrated with sensors like vision systems and lidar. This demonstration provides a prime example of how Mercury’s technology can make boating easier.
The Raymarine DockSense system uses advanced machine vision technology to sense and identify potential obstacles in the vessel’s path, providing feedback to the Mercury Autonomous system to allow the boat’s JPO system to autonomously respond and ensure a smooth docking process.
Though not yet available for purchase, assisted docking technology is poised to revolutionize boat handling in the near the future.
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