Korean Register signs MoU to commercialize autonomous navigation technology

Korean Register (KR) will be closely collaborating with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and its subsidiary Avikus as well as the Liberian Registry (LISCR) to commercialize autonomous navigation technology. 

The four parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at HHI’s headquarters in Ulsan, Korea on 26 August to collaborate on bringing the Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System (HiNAS 2.0) to market. HiNAS 2.0 will be installed on KR classed and LISCR registered ships in July of next year.

HiNAS 2.0 uses artificial intelligence to recognize the surrounding environment, such as weather and wave heights, and nearby ships, and then goes beyond providing simple information and controls the vessel’s steering commands and speed in real-time to avoid collision risk. The system uses augmented reality (AR) to guide optimal routes. The solution was developed for increasing fuel efficiency and to ease the operational burden on bridge teams.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) categorizes autonomous ship operations into four levels. A ship with automated process and decision support is referred to as the Level 1. Level 2 autonomous operations is described as a remote-controlled ship with seafarers on board. At Level 3, the ship is remotely controlled without any seafarers on board, and with Level 4, the ship is fully autonomous.

Most commercialized autonomous navigation systems are currently at Level 1, but HiNAS 2.0 is aiming to be the most advanced solution of the existing autonomous navigation systems at Level 2.

Do-hyeong Lim, Avikus CEO said: “This collaboration is quite significant with the participation of different sectors, including a shipyard, an autonomous navigation solution developing company, a classification society and a flag registry. Based on the results of the collaboration, we will successfully commercialize the HiNAS 2.0 and enhance the safety and economic operation of ships.”

Kyu-jin Yeon, Head of KR’s Plan Approval Center said: “While autonomous navigation technology is gradually advancing from smart ships to autonomous ships and then to unmanned ships, the agreement signed today is a new milestone in the transition of the technology. We are committed to providing our full technical support to ensure that autonomous navigation systems operate safely on vessels.”

Photo credit: Pixabay/ dendoktoor

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