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Volvo Penta unveils self-docking system

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Volvo Penta has unveiled a self-docking system expected to be launched in 2020.

In a live demonstration at the Gothenburg, Sweden, stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race, a 68-foot motor yacht fitted with the new technology successfully maneuvered itself into a tight space between two of the Volvo Ocean Race 65 racing yachts.

At the heart of the new system, according to a company statement, is the joystick-controlled Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System, an integrated propulsion system.

“Our IPS system has already taken great strides in making docking easier, and this new self-docking feature takes that process one important stage further,” said Björn Ingemanson, president of Volvo Penta. “Its sensors and onboard computers react in milliseconds to changing wind and sea conditions, constantly making micro adjustments in power and steering angle of the IPS drive to keep the boat on its intended course into a safe berth. If necessary, the docking process can be paused, and the system will hold the boat stationary in the water.”

According to Volvo Penta, the initial focus for the self-docking system will be individuals who can install the system on their own private docks. Longer term, the company predicts the technology will be of interest to harbors and marinas.

Watch a video of the self-docking demonstration here.

This is the second auto-docking technology to be announced in as many months. Read about Wartsila’s technology here.

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