On the 28th of June 2022, the federal minister of transport, Volker Wissing, handed over the first funding notification to the "SensorSOW" project within
the framework of the funding guideline "Digital test fields for waterways". The project consortium consisting of Alberding GmbH in Wildau, the Technical University of Berlin
and the University of Rostock will receive a total funding amount of around 1.33 million euros for a project duration of two years. Together they will develop and test sensor
and assistance systems for determining the ship and traffic situation as well as the fairway under water in order to further increase the degree of automation of navigation.
The functionality of the sensor technology, consisting of LIDAR, SONAR, camera and GNSS systems, will be tested and processed during this period using existing test vessels
and ships in the digital test field Spree-Oder-Wasserstraße (SOW) and made available in an assistance system. The project is expected to start on 1 January 2023.
Federal minister of transport Dr Volker Wissing: "With the digital test fields for waterways and the testing of automated systems, we are driving forward the
digitalisation of shipping. Projects like SensorSOW contribute to shifting more traffic to the environmentally friendly waterway in the long term and making our logistics
chains more sustainable. Projects like SensorSOW show how our vision of tomorrow's mobility can be realised on the water and how we can all benefit from it."
Digital test fields on waterways enable the research and testing of intelligent assistance systems under real conditions and their further development towards fully automated
inland navigation. In this way, the attractiveness of waterways in the competition between modes of transport is increased and cargo is shifted to this comparatively
low-emission logistics sector.
In total, the funding programme for the development of digital test fields on federal waterways will provide around 34 million euros by the end of 2024 to support industry
and research in the testing of automated systems for navigation. SensorSOW was the first project to receive a grant. Further notifications will follow.