Autonomous navigation

Smart Ships, testing on the horizon

by Port News Editorial Staff

SAMSUNG Heavy Industries is set to test a prototype autonomous navigation system on a 3,640-dwt vessel.

The ship, operated by Mokpo National Maritime University, will be used to cover short routes, mostly between Mokpo and Jeju. Testing will begin in August and is the result of an agreement between SHI and the aforesaid South Korean university. The aim is to commercialize the new technology in 2022.

The system has already been successfully applied on a 300-ton tugboat in October 2020, but, as this is the first time it has been tested on a ship of this size.

As Hohyun Jeong, executive vice president of SHI’s Engineering Operations team put it: “In the transition period to future shipping, it is very meaningful that Samsung Heavy has become the first mover to secure remote autonomous operation technology for large vessels

The maritime industry has long been implementing its efforts to get to the point of developing so-called smart ships. In August 2020, a network, called MASSPorts, was set up between various institutions and port authorities in China, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Korea and Singapore. The initiative aims to define specific standards for the use of Autonomous Navigation.

Translation by Giles Foster

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