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NYK joins Japanese autonomous vessel project

NYK, and its Group companies MTI, Keihin Dock Co, and Japan Marine Science (JMS), have announced their participation in a demonstration project being carried out by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) to demonstrate remote operation of an unmanned ship.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}By 2025, Japan aims to begin demonstrations for the practical implementation of autonomous vessels, and will leverage research already done by the NYK Group in the sector, including an MLIT-sponsored study on collision risk judgement and the autonomous operation of vessels that is being conducted together with three marine equipment manufacturers in Japan.

NYK says that it applied to participate in MLIT’s new initiative because one of its projects has now entered a demonstration stage prior to implementation.

The shipping company has been working with maritime equipment manufacturers and other partners to develop a manned remote manoeuvring system that can assist the crew on board through the collection, integration and analysis of data from around the ship. This data is used to suggest actions to be followed, which are then approved by remote operators or the personnel on board.

The demonstration phase of the project aims to make use of this system in real life situations, on board a tugboat operated by Wing Maritime Service Corporation (WMS), an NYK Group company, in the latter half of 2019.{/mprestriction}

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