NYK and NYK Group companies MTI Co. Ltd, Keihin Dock Co. Ltd, and Japan Marine Science Inc. (JMS) have been selected by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) to participate in a demonstration project utilising ship manoeuvring support functions and remote control. By 2025, Japan is seeking to begin demonstrations for the practical implementation of autonomous ships.
With the aim to pursue efficient, safe operations and reduce officer workload, NYK and NYK Group companies MTI and JMS have been using advanced technology to develop an automated ship, including a study on collision risk judgement and the autonomous operation of vessels, a study that is being conducted together with three nautical instrument manufacturers in Japan and has been selected for sponsorship by MLIT. The NYK Group applied to participate in MLIT’s new project because one of the Group’s studies has entered the demonstration stage prior to implementation.
To date, the NYK Group has been working with nautical instrument manufacturers and partners to develop a manned remote manoeuvring system that can support the crew. Such a system would collect, integrate and analyse information around the ship, prepare an action plan and after the approval of operators at remote locations or on board, take action in accordance with the plan. This demonstration aims to make use of this system in an actual situation.
After collecting data and developing a system using domestic coastal ships and tugboats, a demonstration test will be carried out on a tugboat in the latter half of 2019, said a release.