Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) has completed a demonstration test of an autonomous berthing and un-berthing system at a pier in the Port of Oarai as part of a project with the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMUST) and Akishima Laboratories.
In a statement, MOL said the technology was tested on a car ferry, the Sunflower Shiretoko, and was chosen by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism (MLIT) to be part of a wider a study into autonomous vessels.
The results of the test will be leveraged and used for further berthing and un-berthing pilots of other types of vessels, with the aim of developing “a highly versatile technology”.
The project team developed the ship operation plan, operation guide, criteria for cancelling the test and used simulations to conduct a thorough safety assessment under various conditions.
In addition, the team conducted the demonstration test and verifying safety on the vessel in service by autonomously berthing and un-berthing at a virtual pier projected on the water.
In February 2021, MOL Group and its partner Bearing Inc. expanded their partnership to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to make container shipping operations more efficient.