The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has issued Approval in Principle (AIP) certificates to Saildrone, including the first AIP for a 10-meter commercial uncrewed surface vehicle (USV), the Saildrone Voyager. Approvals were issued to Saildrone for both the Voyager and Surveyor ocean data collection platforms. The AIP is an important step to class for Saildrone’s vehicles.

Saildrone, a prominent player in the field, has established itself as the global frontrunner in leveraging uncrewed vehicles to collect vital ocean data. With an impressive track record of nearly 25,000 days spent at sea and covering nearly 1,000,000 miles, Saildrone has demonstrated its unparalleled expertise in this domain. The company’s Voyager and Surveyor USVs stand out for their remarkable reliance on renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. This environmentally conscious approach and their cost-efficiency make Saildrone’s USVs an ideal solution for continuous data collection both above and below the sea surface.

“Saildrone is proud to be the first to receive an AIP certificate for a 10-meter uncrewed vehicle from an internationally respected maritime classification agency. Saildrone technology is one of the most mature solutions available, and yet international regulations around uncrewed maritime systems are only in their infancy. Therefore, it is essential that Saildrone be proactive in working with the American Bureau of Shipping to lead the industry, on and off the water,” said Saildrone founder and CEO Richard Jenkins.

AIP is a formal review process that evaluates the design concept of a new technology, product, or system against ABS rules and applicable regulations as an important first step to full classification.

“ABS is leading the industry in supporting autonomous projects and assisting innovative companies like Saildrone. ABS understands that autonomous technologies are not stand-alone products but fully integrated with vehicle infrastructure and the result of numerous advancements in a wide variety of mechanisms including sensors, imaging, connectivity, machine learning, and more,” said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

Saildrone has already begun to scale production of its Voyager and Surveyor USVs to meet increasing demand for uncrewed ocean data collection. The company has partnered with Janicki Industries and Seemann Composites to build the Voyager wings and hulls and Austal USA to build Surveyor hulls. Surveyor wings will continue to be built at Saildrone’s headquarters in Alameda, CA.

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