Navy seeking autonomous navigation technology

By Audrey Decker / January 5, 2022 at 11:48 AM

The Navy is looking for information on autonomous technologies that would support safe navigation in the service's ships and submarines, according to a request for information released Monday.

“This RFI seeks both information on active autonomous navigation technologies that could be used as enablers to develop a human-in-the-loop safety of navigation bridge decision aid,” the Navy states.

The RFI outlines four main characteristics of the future technology, which include:

  • “Integration of bridge decision aid technology with existing bridge systems (i.e. Electronic Chart Display and Information System, Automatic Identification System) on surface ships;
  • “Integration of installed Government Furnished Equipment shipboard sensors including but not limited to navigation radars and Electro-Optical/Infra-Red systems into the decision aid technology;
  • “Build user trust in the decision aid solutions;
  • “Use at-sea periods with the decision aid operating as a digital twin to the navigation system to train autonomy Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning in representative environments.”

The service wants to integrate new technology into the Electronic Charting and Display systems and use existing sensors on ships to support the autonomous navigation system, according to the RFI.

While there isn’t a timeline for the procurement of this technology, acquisition would likely occur in the fiscal year 2025 to FY-27 timeframe, according to the RFI.