Intelligent awareness system for safety

Sunflower Testing will take place onboard 165m passenger ferry Sunflower, which operates in Japan

An intelligent awareness system designed for operational safety and efficiency will be developed onboard a Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) ferry.

Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with MOL to collaborate in the development of its system to make vessels safer, easier and more efficient to operate by using technology which fuses data from a range of sensors with information from existing ship systems; such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar.

Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce director of digital & systems – marine, said: “We are exploring and testing how to combine sensor technologies effectively and affordably.”


He added that pilots and products development programmes are an “important step towards the further development of remote and autonomous vessels and meeting our goal of having a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade.”

Testing will take place onboard 165m passenger ferry Sunflower, which operates in Japan and is owned and operated by MOL’s subsidiary company.

The Sunflower operates on a 222-nautical mile route between Kobe and Oita via the Akashi Kaikyo, Bisan Seto and Kurushima Straits.

Kenta Arai, director at Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, said: “Ferry SUNFLOWER operates in some of the most congested waters in the world and will provide an opportunity to test rigorously Rolls-Royce’s intelligent awareness system.”

Rolls-Royce expects the system to be commercially available in 2018.



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