German dry bulk owner and operator Oldendorff Carriers has taken a minority stake in Finland-based navigation technology start-up Groke Technologies.

With the latest investment, Oldendorff will focus on the support of crews and safety of the navigation, rather than jump into autonomy, the company explained.

The shipowner has already collaborated with the Japanese trading and investing company, Mitsubishi Corporation, which is the leading investor of the Finnish start-up.

Furthermore, the Japanese company was the one that introduced Groke Technologies to Oldendorff.

Groke Technologies was established in 2019 to develop intelligent navigation systems for shipping operations, with the aim of creating safer and more comfortable working conditions on board vessels.

Groke will continue its development and business with the advice and support from both investors, the firm stated.

The company’s first project will be available during 2021, as it plans to release awareness system pilot projects with few local shipowners. 

“Our technology will first assist the crew in decision making and in the future aims to ensure that the crew will concentrate in working with the most essential tasks in operations, while autonomy will take care of the less complex tasks,” Juha Rokka, CEO of Groke Technologies said.

“Our first product aims to produce better perception information of ship surrounding areas for the captain and tell where to focus in each situation.”

Founded in Germany in 1921, Oldendorff Carriers is one of the largest dry bulk shipowners and operators worldwide. It has a fleet of about 750 bulk carriers and 330 million tonnes of cargo carried annually.

Recently, the company became the newest member of the Methanol Institute (MI).

Source: Offshore Energy