SBB (Shore Based Bridge)

Shore-Based Bridges (SBB) are an important step on the way to autonomous maritime traffic management. Ships and crew, however, need land-based support for this. We show how the development, integration and demonstration of a new Shore-Based Bridge with the eMIR – Integrated Reference Platform, was made possible.

Today the Maritime industry is focusing on e-navigation, i.e. harmonisation and integration, exchange, presentation and analysis of digital information on board and ashore, to support safe navigation. When it comes to navigational information, NAVTOR already has a solution with the NavStation – the ultimate maritime route planning tool, as a marketable product that meets future navigation requirements. The development, integration and demonstration of such a new Shore Based Bridge (SBB), could be the starting point to relieve the crew on board in the future and an important step to enable the realisation of an autonomous ship in international trade. SBB will accelerate the development of advanced real-world testing and type-approval concepts for highly automated navigation systems in order to reduce time to-market for European e-Navigation providers, thereby increasing competiveness of European maritime industry.

Highly automated cyber-physical system such as the Shore Based Bridge must be tested, verified and validated (V&V) to ensure functional safety and efficiency. The integrated reference platform eMIR provides therefore an appropriate V&V environment with both virtual and physical platforms to easily develop new maritime applications. After a successfully simulation-based V&V, the automated and programmable Research Boat Zuse can thus be used seamlessly for the continuation of tests in real maritime environments.

Together we look ahead to what navigation information has to be achieved on the way to an autonomous ship in international trade.

NAVTOR foresee the Maritime industry need to go through three phases on our way to the Autonomous vessel sailing internationally:

  1. The e-NAV Phase moving from Paper to Digital
  2. The Demonstration phase, where the concept is introduced, tested and verified within the current maritime legislation
  3. The Change of regulation phase, finally opening up for autonomous vessels build on verification from phase II

We demonstrate a new Shore Based Bridge with eMIR, which makes it possible to shift planning, monitoring and safety-critical navigation functions from a ship to shore. The concept of the proposed SBB consisting of an SBB, an integrated reference platform and a boat in a real maritime environment, gets tested in early 2017.


The main objective of this experiment was to use the physical part, “LABSKAUS”, of the eMIR Platform for the development and demonstration of an SBB, thereby supporting the development of further future navigation solutions and contributing to the improvement of eMIR through the findings of the cooperation. This involved developing an SBB with a shore based e-NAV station to implement the functionality of a Shore Based Bridge for monitoring and implementing safety-critical navigation functions from ship to shore. The aim of NAVTOR was to demonstrate the benefits of an SBB in order to prepare the further steps on the way to an autonomous ship.


The SBB system consists of the following three subsystems and their components which are brought together and demonstrated in the eMaritime Integrated Reference Platform:

Overview of some used components of the eMIR platform and e-NAV station, a research vessel is controlled via an LTE connection with a land-based bridge and navigatorically relevant data is exchanged

  • On-board system: The main platform for the on-board system is the Research Boat Zuse. Equipped with a so-called NaviBox, the subsystem can supply sensor data such as AIS, radar, D-GPS and compass. To provide SBB users on shore a better overview, the Zuse is equipped with a front and rear view camera. In addition, the NAVTOR ECDIS (an electronic map display and information system) was integrated on board.
  • Communication connection: Since SBB Experiment uses the existing LTE communication link of eMIR. The remote connection between shore and ship enables remote control of the Research Boat Zuse via SBB.
  • On Shore System: The NAVTOR NavStation and ECDIS form the basis for the e-NAV station of the Shore Based Bridge system, the SBB. The data provided by the on board system will be integrated and displayed in the respective on shore system.

By integrating all digital navigational data for optimal on-screen presentation, navigators can grab, swipe and manoeuvre “layers” to discover a new e-Navigation reality. The innovative software integrates all digital navigational data for optimal on screen presentation to plan and organize a safe, secure and economical voyage. With the Passage Planning module, navigators can effortlessly access and create required documentation while planning vessel voyages. Via a data link with a shore-based e-NAV station, the SBB makes it possible to receive sensor data such as ship radar, GPS, AIS (Automatic Identification System), VDR (Voyage Data Recorder), etc. from the Research Boat Zuse. Thus, a navigator can use multiple data feeds from the vessel to monitor/navigate and update the route/passage plan, which are then automatically transferred back on board. For an autonomous vessel, the updated route will replace the current route in the vessel’s ECDIS and thus directly steer the ship according to the new intended Passage plan. A common operating picture on-board and ashore by means of safe and secure sensor data exchange is obviously essential to execute these functions.

Our joint results

NAVTOR has achieved at least three main results through the positive demonstration:

  • Validation of SBB with the eMIR platform in real sea tests
  • The demonstration of an SBB, which is the starting point for the work on a change of the maritime regulations, in order to make the ship with reduced crew and later the autonomous ship possible.
  • NAVTOR to become a leading provider of SBB to allow for saving for the Ship owners and other benefitting of having access to duplicated bridge information.


Contact; Ståle Høylandskjær; Axel Hahn