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This is OSCAR Navigation

OSCAR stands for Optical System for Cognition And Ranging and is the first AI based system, available for sailing yachts and for motor vessels.
OSCAR alerts you of any floating obstacle on your course – large and small – day and night.

The OSCAR systems are designed to detect hazards that cannot be detected by radars, AIS or sonar. As a result OSCAR prevents collisions with any potential threat a vessel can encounter at sea. Be it other vessels, unidentified floating objects such as logs, buoys or containers, as well as sleeping sea mammals. The system alerts the crew of any potential danger and tracks the position and distance of that threat.

Managing Board

Raphael Biancale
Founder & Managing Partner

Raphael Biancale

The OSCAR idea was born while sailing a challenging ocean passage. Poor visibility, especially at night, and the absence of driver assistance systems as in development for cars, sparked Raphael‘s idea to provide more convenience and safety for boaters by combining sensor technology with artificial intelligence.

Raphael started his career in R&D for automotive development companies AVL and Magna in the fields of intelligent car systems and automotive software.

Raphael has a background in engineering, having graduated from the Munich University of Applied Sciences with a Master in automotive engineering.

Dr. Christoph Ballin
Managing Partner

Christoph Ballin

Christoph joined OSCAR‘s shareholder and management team in 2021 and is responsible for OSCAR’s activities in Sales, Marketing, Service, Finance and HR.

Prior to his current role, Christoph was Co-Founder and long term CEO for Torqeedo, the leader in electric mobility on the water. Under his leadership, Torqeedo pioneered ground breaking innovations and established electric propulsion in the marine industry.

His educational background includes a Master of Business Administration and a PhD from Otto-Friedrich Universitaet Bamberg.

Made in austria

OSCAR is made in Austria by BSB Artificial intelligence GmbH and developed in partnership with its sister companies BSB Marine – which is located right in the sailing Mecca of Port la Forêt in Brittany (France) – and BSB Portugal.  

The proximity to the ocean in France and the best offshore racers in the world, helped OSCAR to subject itself to the strictest of all schools. Above all, to improve the safety and functionality of the OSCAR system. Data collected from selected testusers is transferred to our development center in Lisbon (Portugal). There, the data is analysed, annotated if necessary and the algorithms improved, which ensures the continuous improvement of the systems performance and reliability.

Raphael Biancale with Oscar 2020

"I once sailed from France to the Cap Verde Islands. I still remember today that at night I spent hours looking into the dark in the cold rain. Exciting and scary at first, over time it became tedious. I always felt a slight discomfort when descending into the cabin in the wide ocean, without really knowing what was ahead of the boat. Therefore, as an engineer in the automotive field, I started looking for a solution. A few years down the line, we now make up a team of 40 people. Together we made this concept of a smart co-pilot a reality. We're improving safety and comfort at sea, through the development of an awesome product at the forefront of technology."

Raphael Biancale I Director BSB Artificial Intelligence GmbH

A Brief History About OSCAR

In 2017, BSB received financial support from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and the Austrian Public Investment Bank (AWS). After that, Raphael Biancale got in touch with Gaetan Gouerou, manager of the company Mer & Projets, co-founder of the CDK Technologies shipyard and General Delegate of the IMOCA class.

Convinced by the concept, Gaetan Gouerou decided to get involved. With his expertise and connections in the maritime domain, he helped immensely with meeting the expectations of our customers.

At the end of 2017, the skipper Jean Le Cam, convinced of the interest of such a system, volunteered to be the first user and assisted in the definition of the first specifications.

In early 2018, three winners of the Vendée Globe, Vincent Riou, François Gabart and Armel Le Cléac’h, agreed to provide their support and expertise to the project.

Many months of prototyping, testing and further prototyping and testing went into the development of OSCAR. As a result and with the help of the top race-teams and strong team members, to drive the project forward, the first OSCAR system was born and raised.

Skipper Vincent Riou
Vincent Riou - winner of the Vendée Globe - testing an early version of the OSCAR App.

2021 and Beyond

In 2021 the company wins Stephan Schambach and Christoph Ballin as investors. Stephan Schambach is one of Germany´s most successful IT entrepreneurs, an avid sailor and former lead investor behind e-motor pioneer Torqeedo.

“As soon as I understood what OSCAR does for sailors, I wanted the system on my own boat. Sooner that anybody thinks, it will sit in every mast next to the radar antenna, and I think this project is on a straight course to worldwide success.”

Stephan Schambach

Christoph Ballin, founder and CEO of Torqeedo, led Torqeedo until 2 years after its acquisition by Deutz AG. With the new investores on board and Christoph Ballin directly involved in business development, operations picked up additional momentum.

"The OSCAR team has done a great job in developing the technology and the current generation of products. With the new funding and a reinforced team, we look forward to taking OSCAR to the next level in its development. ”

Christoph Ballin

In 2021 OSCAR Navigation launched its first system designed for motor vessels and promptly convinced the jury of the IBEX Innovation Award, winning the safety equipment category in 2021.

Our Offices

BSB Artificial Intelligence GmbH

Siemensstrasse 60 4030 Linz AUSTRIA

BSB Marine SAS

Port La Forêt 29940 La Forêt Fouesnant FRANCE

BSB Portugal Lda

Rua António Champalimaud Lote 1, Piso 1, Sala 1.13B, 1600-514 Lisbon
PORTUGAL

BSB Marine, Inc.

407 Lincoln Road, Suite 10 F Miami Beach, FL 33139 USA