I think what we are looking at, among other things, are "virtual" buoys that show on your ECDIS but are not "real", meaning there's no buoy there. Probably the first test-trials of this concept will be in "commercial" areas where almost everyone has ECDIS, and those who don't (small yachts) can get by without a physical buoy (think of the buoys that help large vessels line up to get through a bridge span, they get hit frequently and go missing so an "electronic" buoy might make sense there, as opposed to the buoy that keeps you off that submerged ledge.
Anyway that's what I heard at an industry luncheon recently with speakers from the Coast Guard. Very much experimental at this stage.
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