Japanese autonomous vessel project completes coastal round-trip

Autonomous navigation system

Source: K Line

A vessel operated by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has completed a demonstration operating on an autonomous navigation system as part of the Nippon Foundation’s MEGURI2040 project.

The demonstration test saw a 11,413 gt car carrier vessel, HOKUREN MARU No. 2, complete three separate 1,600km round-trips along a coastal route between Hitachi Port and Kushiro Port in October 2023. The route chosen followed the route currently served by the vessel.

The autonomous navigation system was used to navigate while maintaining the normal crew navigation tasks, and in situations where avoidance was necessary, the autonomous navigation system proposed avoidance routes and controlled steering to safely avoid other vessels. The autonomous navigation system has achieved an average system operation rate of approximately 96% in the sea area. 

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