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K Line leads joint project on AI-based navigation for autonomous ships

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has entered into a joint R&D agreement with Japan Radio (JRC) and YDK Technologies (YDK) to develop an integrated navigation support system that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) and other cutting-edge technologies for assisting in making safe manoeuvring decisions.

The agreement is part of K Line’s Initiative for Expediting Implementation of Autonomous Ships.

The joint R&D project aims to develop a system that will prevent serious maritime accidents such as ship collisions and groundings and that will lead to autonomous ship operations by combining K Line's manoeuvring knowledge and experience in safe ship operation over many years, JRC marine equipment’s knowledge and advanced radio technology developed, and YDK's steering and propulsion control technology.

The aim is to develop a comprehensive system that will further improve the safety of ship operations by utilising the knowledge and technologies of the three partners in each process from situation awareness by the seafarer to maneuvering control of the ship, combined with the most advanced technologies provided by Groke Technologies, Fujitsu, and Forum8.

Starting from April 2023, demonstration at sea will be conducted on various ship types and routes, both domestic and international, with the aim of full-scale commercial implementation in the future. K Line, JRC, and YDK will continue to develop the system to further improve the safety of ship operations by providing more advanced support and reducing the burden on seafarers and to assist in implementing autonomous ships.

This R&D is a part of K Line’s efforts to develop a crew support system for navigation and engine part. The aim is to prevent serious marine accidents under congested water such as collision and grounding by providing safety information to navigator and supporting their decision-making through this Integrated Navigation Support System that utilises advanced technology.

K Line has reported that it will continue to accelerate development to improve safety, transportation quality and environmental performance that including the basic technologies required for future autonomous ships in view of cooperation with various partners.

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