Intelligent Ship Transport Systems

⇒ What is ISTS?

⇒ Why Intelligent Ship Transport Systems?

⇒ Disclaimer

⇒ Use of material on these web pages

What is ISTS?

Research Council of Norway

ISTS (Intelligent Ship Transport Systems) is a Collaborative and Knowledge-building Project partly funded by the Research Council of Norway as project number 326679. It started in September 2021 and will run to August 2024. It directly targets one of the thematic priority areas in the maritime R&D strategy in Norway: Digital transformation of the maritime industry. It will also support the priority area of innovative and sustainable transport systems within the transport programme. The results will be technical prerequisites for the emerging autonomous ship and port systems.

For informasjon about ISTS, please contact Mr. Ørnulf Jan Rødseth or Ms. Jenny Simonsen at ITS Norway.

Current participants in the project can be found under the tab "Partcipants". White papers and other documents published by ISTS or ISTS members will be available under the "Resources" tab and information about coming and past events is available under "Events". The latter will also point to copies of presentations where such are available.

Why Intelligent Ship Transport Systems?

The Norwegian maritime industry comprises the world's most innovative companies, knowledge environments, and workplaces. Close collaboration between these companies and the authorities has over the years provided Norway with a solid blue economy and a highly visible global presence. New digital solutions and requirements challenge both the industry and authorities and create massive new business opportunities if the traditionally close cooperation and collaboration in Norway are utilized. Furthermore, there is a need to explore and harvest knowledge on international standardization and at the same time be able to influence global developments that can secure Norway's needs and industry.

Ships and smartphones

However, the maritime market is small and characterised by many different ICT systems on individual ships and in the shipping offices. As the market is small (around 96 000 vessels compared to around 7.5 billions of smartphones), the establishment of a "Maritime ITS Architecture" (MIA) and corresponding standards are necessary to establish a working "maritime digital ecosystem" where developers of new products and services get easier access to the market without costly tailoring and commissioning of their products. Customers and users get better and much more interoperable products. As shipping is international, this requires international cooperation to create a worldwide maritime digital ecosystem. International shipping is the lifeblood of world trade, about 90% of all exports are transported by ships. However, the cargo usually is not destined to the ports the ship arrives at - it must be transhipped and carried into the hinterland by other transport modes. Thus, MIA must support effective integration onboard and efficient interfaces to land and its Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) architectures.

The ISTS vision is the establishment of an international ITS architecture for the maritime sector (MIA) to contribute to an interoperable and user-oriented maritime digital ecosystem. This also enables Norwegian industry and authorities to develop new digital services and systems and be deployed without hindrance in the worldwide market.

Ships and smartphones

MIA will be based on a selection of closely connected domains within the maritime sector:

  1. On-board system integration: On-board sensors and systems for automatization of vessel operations like navigation, energy production, and propulsion.
  2. eNavigation, electronic charts, and single window systems: Integration between public onshore systems and ship systems for safe and efficient navigation.
  3. Automated data transfer ship-shore: This includes single window systems reporting, automated environmental performance reporting, voyage orders, port operations and commercial reports.
  4. Automated harbour and terminal services: Digital information between actors in harbour/terminal systems and ships in port. It will also enable a seamless ITS-interface to road and rail operations.
  5. Secure and open data sharing and access: Secure data ownership combined with efficient data sharing is a critical component for many of these services.

These will be used as cases in the development of MIA. Other results will be the protocol and data model specifications from each are as well as a user-centric analysis of the benefits and acceptance of standards.


All material on these web pages has been provided by members of the ISTS consortium and is intended as input to the discussions on and development of a new maritime ITS architecture with associated standards.

While the information contained on the web pages is believed to be accurate, ISTS participants make no warranty of any kind with regard to this material including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. None of ISTS participants, their officers, employees, or agents shall be responsible, liable in negligence, or otherwise howsoever in respect of any inaccuracy or omission herein. Without derogating from the generality of the foregoing neither of ISTS participants, their officers, employees or agents shall be liable for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage caused by or arising from any information advice or inaccuracy or omission herein.

ISTS does not represent any legal or otherwise binding relationship between members.

The content of the web pages has been reviewed by the ISTS participants but does not necessarily represent the views held or expressed by any individual member of the ISTS consortium.

Use of material on these web pages

The material on these web pages can be reproduced provided that proper references are made to the title of the relevant publication or to the web page itself.

Last updated 2023-10-13 by Ø.J.Rødseth @ ITS Norway