A game-changing experience for everyone on board, built on the world’s best marine guidance platform is the promise of ‘BoatingOS’, an initiative by an Irish marine technology company led by County Waterford powerboater Aidan Foley that has signed Beneteau as its global development partner.
BoatingOS is an entirely new operating system which will power the next generation of chart-plotters - much like how Android works for smartphones. It’s an always-connected platform, delivering data to the helm in a usable, understandable and contextually-aware way, while also unlocking millions of completely new data points which will enrich the boating experience on board. Those behind the initiative believe that current solutions can be difficult to understand, may contain information that is often out of date, and do little to encourage and support fresh marine adventures.
“The current fundamentals are at the heart of the problem” according to Stuart Walker, COO of Raceix. “All of the mapping being used in pleasure boats is based entirely on a system designed for commercial shipping which has evolved very slowly over 200 years. What we do, where we go, what we know, and how we operate in the marine-leisure sector is entirely different to large ships. In addition, it’s usually presented in a way that’s entirely counter-intuitive. Our sector has incredibly talented companies delivering amazing innovation in on-board hardware, but it all still rests on the same flawed system. BoatingOS is designed to
inform and enhance boating adventures in ways never previously imagined.”
Vicki O’Donnell, head of marine data, explains further “Current marine-mapping is often based on very old data, in fact only 15% of the Earth’s oceans are mapped and some of this data is over 50 years old. Mapping the ocean is expensive and the data that we all use on our chart-plotters can actually represent less than 20% of the actual global data collected. during surveys from governmental bodies right across the world. The additional data, which we can now unlock through BoatingOS, will be a gamechanger for pleasure boaters. For example, crowd-sourced bathymetry has been the ‘Holy Grail’ in hydrographic offices across the world for over a decade. Those that have looked at what we’re doing believe that we will finally unlock the enormous potential of leisure craft fleets around the world by delivering the most up-to-data mapping, to ensure safety at sea.”
While the levels of complexity within BoatingOS may be significant, how it’s presented and used in our boats will not be. Raceix’s Chief Technology Officer, Sam Santi, says. “The platform uses AI and Machine-Learning to improve data from multiple sources, including user-generated data. All of this is displayed in one intuitive interface built on key features such as next-generation charts, routing, dynamic POI’s, weather, etc. The dynamic system is designed to continuously evolve and improve, and this is done without any input needed from the boater. Our over-the-air updates keep users constantly up to date, much like how Tesla keeps improving its in-car systems. The value in the system continues to increase over time.”
For Beneteau, the opportunity to support BoatingOS was an ideal partnership for both sides as Luca Brancaleon, their Director-General, explains: “Since 1884 BENETEAU has placed real innovation at the heart of everything we do. For us it’s not just about getting people into boats, it’s also about how we then support and encourage what they do on the water. This platform will deliver better experiences for boaters - sail and motor - which, in turn, will naturally encourage them to go boating more often. We see this as a game-changer, something which has been needed for some time, but is only possible now with modern,
smart technology.” Beneteau has been central to the rapid progress of this platform, providing Raceix with their Barracuda 8 test boat, and unlocking key insights into the sector.
Interested boaters are encouraged to visit BoatingOS.com to discover more, sign up for updates, and even become part of the beta testing program.