Concept & Approach

“Gustavo is a 75-old retired civil servant from Brazil who decided to go on a cruise in the Caribbean along with his wife Lucia, aged 71 and their two grandchildren Maria (15) and Ruis (13). They chose the new Royal Caribbean Group cruise ship that went into operation last year, which seems a wonderful place to spend their vacations. Eventually the date of departure has come. Gustavo and his family board the ship. While entering the reception the desk officer gives them a smart bracelet each. They are advised to wear it during their stay on-board. At the same time they are asked about any medical issues they might have as well as mobility problems. They also fill in a sheet with information amongst which are their mobile phone number and which languages they speak. They are given a security information sheet which they are asked to read, while they are advised to install the SafePASS app on their mobile phone. The information sheet mentions that the boat is equipped with the SafePASS evacuation system to maximise safety in case of emergency.

…Paul is the ship captain. It is the seventh day of the cruise and he is at the bridge watching the SafePASS COP, when he receives a notification for a fire at the lower deck. On his touch-screen the 3D visualisation of the ship with the incident tagged appears. He zooms in to locate the incident and through the COP interface dispatches two officers, both equipped with a holographic version of the COP, to the incident point to get a clear view of the situation. The ship sensors and the report received through the COP by the two officers are worrying. In the background the SafePASS Core Engine calculates the incident propagation. Correlating this calculation with the position of the passengers, a Location-based Dynamic Evacuation Route is calculated for the entire ship population, indicating the optimal routes and the total time needed for the evacuation. To calculate this, the core engine takes also into consideration the personal characteristics of each individual (mobility limitations, visual or acoustic impairments), as well as projected crowd behaviour through the integrated crowd simulation algorithms and the overall risk factor calculated through the integrated Risk Management Tool. The risk is high so Paul decides to proceed to the ship evacuation. He continues to monitor his screen while initiating the evacuation by pressing the evacuation button on the COP.

It is around noon and Gustavo is at one of the restaurants with his wife, while the children are at the big pool when the alarm sounds. They get the alarm information from the ship public announcement system, but also from the ship screens around them, together with a push notification on their phone and a continuous vibration on their smart bracelet. Gustavo remembers the information he read in the safety information leaflet. Along with his wife they return to their cabin and pick up their life jackets. Immediately they turn on the activation switch. The lifejacket immediately vibrates. After a few seconds both his cell phone and bracelet have detected the lifejacket activation and ask to associate with it. The lifejacket now adapts to the preferences of Gustavo. Gustavo and his wife detach the earplug from their jackets and place it inside their ear. Gustavo senses the SafePASS application on his mobile phone vibrate as a new notification is received which indicates the personalized Location-based Evacuation Route, i.e. the optimal route (avoiding any possible obstructions) which they have to follow to reach the appropriate muster station.

…Maria and Ruis hear the alarm. They do remember that they have to wear a life jacket and then switch it on.

They are doing so (grabbing one from the indicated space near the pool as their cabin is far away) and they see the ear plug flashing, prompting them to place it inside their ear. The life jacket is now connected with their smart bracelet and identifies them. They do not have a smartphone with them and they do not know where their grandparents are. They are asking one of the crew members – Ahmed – where to head to. Ahmed speaks Egyptian and English but no Portuguese. While trying to understand what Ahmed is saying they hear through the earplug in Portuguese: Posso ajudar? (Can I help you?). Maria asks in Portuguese “where should I go?” and then the bot provides her with instructions for her to find the way to the respective mustering station. The bot informs her about the instructions she should follow. She learns that she has to follow the dynamic exit signs or see the deck based led tapes that illustrate the way and point to the correct direction. Alternatively, she can feel the vibrations on her jacket that guides her to move ‘left, right or forward’.

…Gustavo and Lucia follow the instructions on the SafePASS smartphone application to navigate themselves. In order to retrieve their initial position, they point their phone towards one of the many QR markers around them.

The application then opens up the camera where they can see overlaid (AR) arrows directing them to their mustering station. On their way, they notice that the forward pointing arrow on their mobile phone changed status and now indicates to take a right turn. They cross check with an active exit sign mounted on the roof that also changed its status pointing now at the same direction. Many passengers are coming from the opposite direction informing them that a door in the end of the corridor has been blocked. SafePASS system, has received the blocking door notification and has recalculated all evacuation routes and provided updated optimal ones under the evolving circumstances! There are lots of people around them and Lucia trips over, falls and twists her ankle. She can barely move. Gustavo decides to wait with her and seek help from the crew. He becomes nervous – his heart rate increases as well as his stress levels.

…Chris and Paolo are two officers located at Mustering station A. The ship is equipped with the new SAfePASS life boats. The boats have influenced the ship design and facilitate novel access arrangements and evacuation passages to facilitate increased and safe crowd flows by enlarging the widths of the passageways at the boarding stations.

Moreover, the boats while enabling different entry levels and are suited for all demographic groups. Paolo is in charge of preparing the lifeboat. He is a newly recruited employee. He remembers his training but now operates under stress. He wears his Hololens and immediately receives simple AR supported information about how to handle the boat. At the same time Chris wears another Hololens which provides a mobile holographic version of the COP. He is connected to the bridge and has up to date information for the evacuation process and the position of the passengers. He receives notification that passengers Gustavo and Lucia (who are close to him and should be heading to Mustering station A) are not moving for the last 5 minutes while Gustavo seems to have significant increase of stress level. Chris then informs the bridge and gets the order to find the elderly couple and assist them.

Using his mobile COP and having his hands free he is able to quickly navigate through the boat to their marked locations, find them and escort them safely to the mustering station, where they meet up with Maria and Ruis. Together with the other passengers gathered in the muster station they head to the lifeboats where despite of the bad weather they easily slide to the lifeboat thanks to the new SafePASS access arrangements. While they enter the lifeboat their jacket beeps and informs the COP that passengers Gustavo, Lucia, Maria and Ruis have safely entered the lifeboat 11 at Mustering station A.

…60 minutes later Paul checks the COP and realizes that all passengers have launched lifeboats, while rescue teams have already started arriving. Fire has spread to many areas around the ship and the crew is unable to extinguish it without external assistance. Although frustrated, he is still relieved that all passengers have safely evacuated the ship. Many lives were in danger but supported by SafePASS, he and his crew succeeded in the most critical mission of their lives...

Although the above is a naïve and simplified version of a true incident, it demonstrates in brief the impact that SafePASS project envisions for large cruise-ships safety.




SafePASS high-level architecture