Intelligent ships of the future

MOL will use intelligent technologies in reducing environmental impact, and ensuring safe, reliable transport services.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Rolls-Royce Marine conducted a demonstration test on a ferry equipped with the Intelligence Awareness System (IAS) for autonomous sailing.
Autonomous sailing requires underlying intelligent technologies such as the following.

  • Advancement and automation of watch keeping
  • Remote and automated ship operation (automatic collision avoidance while underway)
  • Automatic docking/undocking
  • Remote monitoring of machinery and equipment, cargo, etc
  • Automatic telecommunication among vessels

This project focuses on research related to advancement of watch keeping from the bridge.
The project team verified the system’s performance such as detecting debris and other obstacles.  It also tested the data fusion capabilities.  The team conducted the test in the Seto Inland Sea.  Most noteworthy, it is one of world’s most congested waterways.
The team received positive comments from the crewmembers, such as “We can expect more reliable watch keeping from the bridge.”
The test also led to an idea for an advanced user interface, which can provide information with greater precision.
The team plans to continuously accumulate data on the sea.  Importantly, it will be used to generate practical improvements in watch standing performance.  This will make the system suitable for navigation in the Seto Inland Sea.  Additionally, the data is also use in upgrading its performance in adverse weather.
MOL takes a proactive stance in moving ahead to develop and introduce intelligent technologies. It will use these technologies in reducing environmental impact, and ensuring safe, reliable transport services.
MOL is aiming for safer and more efficient vessel operation and takes a proactive stance on research and development of autonomous ships.

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