In inland navigation, the vessel tracking and tracing system Inland AIS (Inland Automatic Identification System) is used for the automatic identification and tracking and tracing of vessels. AIS was originally introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to support maritime navigation. In order to meet the requirements of inland navigation, it was extended to the Inland AIS Standard which enables the transmission of additional information.

The most important AIS element on board an inland waterway vessel is the so-called Inland AIS transponder, which enables the exchange of information relevant to the positioning and identification of vessels and also facilitates the exchange of data between vessels equipped with transponders. Each vessel equipped with an Inland AIS transponder sends static (e.g. ship number, call sign, name), dynamic (e.g. position, speed, course) and voyage-related (e.g. draught loaded, destination, estimated time of arrival) data. All vessels equipped with transponders, as well as Inland AIS base stations on the shore, can see the transmitting vessel which is within reach on the display of the transponder or on a computer with Inland ECDIS software. Hereby, boatmasters are provided with an accurate overview of live traffic within the surrounding area of their vessel.

River Information Services supported by Inland AIS include:

  • Automated vessel tracking and tracing
  • Tactical traffic imaging
  • Real-time traffic information
  • Calculation of estimated time of arrival
  • Tracking of accidents
  • Lock management