Idea: Bi-directional AIS data

Hi Floathub Community.

I’m using the option to share my boats AIS data to Marinetraffic and it works really well.
(If you are not using this feature yet, do note that Marinetraffic will give out some perks when you do).

What if this data sharing would also work the other way? That is, if I could receive AIS targets from Marinetraffic and relay this data to my NMEA network, so it would show up on my MFD. This would give me indefinite range of AIS targets, otherwise outside my direct AIS range.
Sure, I can view this on my tablet or phone with the Marinetraffic app, but it would improve my situational awareness if I could get it onto my MFD with collission alerts etc.

With the increasing adoption of offshore internet, this would be a natural step.

Best Regards

I don’t think you will know if any relayed targets are delayed. The underlying assumption in AiS is that it is a live system. That tanker that appears to be 8miles away, maybe it’s only 4. I know from experience that anything inside 6 miles can become a threat faster than many intuitively expect. Lots of potential issues here and my example is far from the worst.

Fundamentally, AIS to my knowledge does not broadcast a known timestamp and I don’t want to trust the receivers systems added information for a whole host of potential reasons for real time navigation.

In this case, I think the designers of the standard got it right. The assumption that the system be used live is the right one. The lack of timestamp was a smart move.

I’m sure there are some use cases where it would be useful, but I would have a trust issue that in most cases the info is a greater potential liability than help. In short, if you can’t receive their broadcast, more times and users than not, it won’t hurt you. I’ll try to be open minded, but that’s my thinking.

Fully agree when talking close quarters. The lag would be an issue even though Marinetraffic does keep a timestamp of the received messages.

Offshore is a bit different. You want to plan your route and your tacks and you don’t want to get too close to big ships. They may travel at 20+ knots and if you are going 8-10 knots in the opposite direction, the AIS range is not a lot of time.

Modern MFDs will compute the CPA and graphically show the danger zones relative to AIS targets. Receiving targets that are say 50 nm away would add situational awareness and give you time to plan what you want to do.