The VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) concept was originally proposed to address emerging indications of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) VHF Data Link (VDL) becoming overloaded. VDES builds on the capabilities of AIS to address these increasing data requirements. Furthermore, VDES is optimised for data communication so that each VDES message is transmitted with a high confidence of reception.
VDES technology also enables a wider, seamless data exchange for e-navigation, potentially supporting the modernisation of GMDSS.
In addition, VDES could support increasing communications requirements, as documented in the e-navigation Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP).
The purpose of e-navigation is to enhance berth-to-berth navigation and related services for safety and security at sea and protection of the marine environment. e-navigation seeks to enhance maritime safety through simplification and harmonisation of information. In addition, e-navigation seeks to facilitate and increase efficiency of maritime trade and transport by improved information exchange.