At open sea, ships mostly sail with autopilot turned on, but to enter the port or pass-through narrow channels the ship must go to manual steering. Maritime pilot embarks the ship and steering is conducted by a helmsman via verbal helm orders.
All orders and instructions regarding the safe operation of the vessel must be done using closed loop communication. Closed loop communication is a technique utilized to avoid misunderstandings. It involves repeat back of orders and positive confirmation that the message has been understood.
Most obvious problem is that Closed Loop Communication does not prevent a Helmsman putting the rudder over the wrong way. Therefore, the monitoring of the execution of the order remains of paramount importance. This is from the Bridge Resource Management manual and how the idea of technological solution was born.
Problem is well described in an interview with a Captain regarding passage through and grounding of Ever Given in Suez Canal: I leave nothing to chance, I follow every pilot’s helm order and helmsman response, and several times it happened that because of a misunderstanding between the pilot and helmsman, I had to jump and grab the helm to avoid ship grounding.
Helm Order Monitor uses the speech recognition function and, according to the maritime rules and regulations combined with data received from ship’s sensors, monitors whether issued helm orders are clear, confirmed and correctly executed.
In addition to solving communication problems, situation awareness and drop of concentration, the device is also an indicator of the last issued helm order. Clients will have the ability to analyze registered warnings.