Skip to main content

Mercury, Raymarine collaborate on assisted docking

The system is being demonstrated on a Boston Whaler 330 Outrage at Mercury’s Lake X test facility in Orlando.

The system is being demonstrated on a Boston Whaler 330 Outrage at Mercury’s Lake X test facility in Orlando.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Mercury Marine president John Pfeifer last evening welcomed marine journalists and others from the industry to the Hyatt Regency at the Orlando International Airport. Today, the group heads to Mercury’s Lake X test facility for product demonstrations, including a new assisted-docking system.

“We love these events because if there’s one thing we like to do, it’s show off the products we create,” Pfeifer told the audience. “Our products are about performance and leadership in the industry, so we still follow the lead that was set for our business.”

The assisted docking system is based on aerospace control systems and autonomous-car artificial intelligence. Mercury’s autonomous system will support a variety of future uses for assisted and semiautonomous functionality. The technology also is adaptable to partner systems, such as Raymarine DockSense.

Vice president of engineering and product development Tim Reid explains the assisted-docking system.

Vice president of engineering and product development Tim Reid explains the assisted-docking system.

The system is being demonstrated at Lake X on a Boston Whaler 330 Outrage with twin Mercury Verados and Joystick Piloting for Outboards. Mercury collaborated with Raymarine to incorporate Raymarine’s DockSense system, which uses vision technology to sense and identify potential obstacles on the boat’s course, providing feedback to the Mercury autonomous system to allow the JPO system respond.

“We’re able to provide a product that makes it simple and easy to dock a boat without hitting anything,” Pfeifer said. “This will ultimately turn into an automatic-docking product.”

Tim Reid, Mercury vice president of engineering and product development, said that the system uses Raymarine cameras on the boat, with autonomous operation and perception modules developed by Mercury.

“A key pain point is docking or any close-quartering operation,” Reid said. “We’re looking for technology that can be integrated into boats.”

In other news, Pfeifer said that Mercury achieved a milestone in eclipsing the $3 billion mark in 2018 among its engine manufacturing, systems affiliates and distribution divisions. “We’re going to start turning boats into integrated machines,” he said of Mercury’s aim to provide complete operation systems for boatbuilders.

Summarizing the goal for the parts and distribution divisions, he added, “Every time people go boating, there are things they need, and we need to make it easier for them to get what they need wherever and whenever they want to buy it.”

Related

1_CHAPARRAL.FAFARD

Chaparral VP Takes Expanded Role

Senior vice president Mike Fafard will now be in charge of manufacturing, in addition to engineering and design

1_ABYC.ELECTRICAL

ABYC Offers New Electrical Course

Advanced Marine Electrical, the group’s newest certification, is an on-demand, online course outside of scheduled classes

1_SILENTYACHTS

Silent-Yachts Acquires Italian Yard

The facility in Fano, on the Adriatic Sea, has 236,806 square feet of production space and will employ about 250 people

1_GETTINGTECHNICAL

Increasingly Infinite Options

Additive manufacturing is rapidly becoming a go-to technology for companies in the marine industry, and while some choose to outsource, others are taking advantage of the rapidly dropping price of 3D printers.

DealerOutlook

Celebrating 50 Years of the Clean Water Act

The great strides in water quality that the CWA has created have been a huge benefit to boating, but there’s a lot more that remains to be done.

1_IRISINNOVATIONS

Iris Innovations Opens U.S. Office

The U.K.- based on-board camera manufacturer aims to leverage its new location in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to strengthen its position in the U.S. market.

1_KVHCEO

KVH Industries Appoints CEO, Directors

Brent C. Bruun takes over as president and CEO, and David Kagan and David Tolley were appointed to the board.

1_WINNEBAGO.EARNS

Winnebago Reports 3Q Results

The parent of Chris-Craft and Barletta said profit margins widened after its acquisition of the pontoon builder.