Remote Pilotage

Key Focus Area:

Next Generation Ports


Existing regulations in the Singapore port mandate vessels 300GT and above to engage the service of authorised pilots for navigation within the port. This process involves pilots transferring to vessels via pilot launches, completing their tasks onboard, and then transferring to other vessels as needed. However, the current operational model limits each pilot to handling one vessel at a time, with 40% of their shift spent travelling between jobs. How might we develop solution(s) to support and enable remote pilotage?


This operational model poses safety risks for pilots during boarding and disembarking stages, as they approach vessels—whether stationary or moving—via pilot launches and use the vessels' means, including boarding ladders, to come onboard. To address safety and efficiency concerns, the concept of "remote pilotage" is being explored. Remote pilotage involves licensed pilots conducting piloting duties from off-board positions.

In collaboration with MPA and PSA Marine, ST Engineering developed the Remote Assistance Pilotage Advisory (RAPA) System, tested in 2018. While successful, challenges remain for full RAPA implementation:

  • Poor weather conditions: Rain may impact network coverage, affecting the system's reliability.
  • High demand: With over 400 pilotage moves daily, network coverage must accommodate significant traffic.
  • Video quality requirements: Minimum resolution standards need confirmation to ensure effective communication.


Three cameras, each with a resolution of 1920 x 420, were utilized onboard. These cameras streamed data back to shore using LTE technology, with an estimated bandwidth consumption of 0.4Mbps. However, there were issues with lagging in areas where the throughput dropped below 0.1Mbps.


The goal is to develop a solution that can compress data packages for ship-shore transmission without introducing lag. Additionally, it should ensure that the minimum required video quality is maintained throughout the transmission process.


To provide the shore-based pilot with adequate situational awareness and a clear view of the vessel for safe maneuvering, real-time video imagery from onboard cameras and shore-based long-range electro-optical systems are utilized, alongside AIS, sensors, and radar systems. However, the current data package size leads to issues such as video loss, freeze, or poor quality. The challenge lies in optimizing the data package for seamless ship-shore communication using a 5G network, without compromising video quality.

Shortlisted finalists are enrolled in a two-phase, 12-week programme.

Phase 1: Fit Check - Market Discovery and Validation

Kickstart your journey by diving deep into the heart of your market! In this phase, we'll help you answer the pivotal question: Is there a product-market fit for your solution? Validate your tech, test your assumptions, and find the perfect match for your innovation. A review will be conducted at the end of Phase 1. Only selected participants will advance to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Gap Busters - Navigating New Markets

Now, it's time to bridge the commercial gap. In this phase, you’ll partner with industry veterans who bring sharp business insights to the table. Together, you’ll navigate and conquer markets that may be uncharted territory for your startup.

Although the programme is designed for remote and overseas participants, in-person participation is required for the following events conducted in Singapore: