MOL Tests Simulation System to Boost Vessel Safety


Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced a joint venture, between MOL Techno-Trade, the National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI), and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, to study navigation support systems.

The three parties, according to MOL, conducted an assessment and feasibility study using NMRI’s ship handling risk simulator.

Mariners on watch-keeping duty, during ship operations, must first be able to see an object, and then judge whether that object poses a risk to the vessel.


Yvo Saanen, Pascal Bierhuizen and Arjen de Waal, TBA, explore high-definition simulation in a recent Port Technology technical paper


In this scenario, the vessel must take some action to avoid the risk, such as veering or slow steaming.

The “Obstacle Zone by Target” (OZT) algorithm supports a mariner's ability to spot objects and determine whether they are potential risks.



By utilizing a navigation support system incorporating OZT, vessels can locate an area where it is able to travel safely, as well as gaining access to the system's bridge view display that determines the position of nearby vessels.

MOL and its partners are continuing to research augmented reality (AR) technology, which overlaps displays of information from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar, camera images from the bridge, and advanced navigation support systems.



The “long-range goal”, as stated by MOL, is to make autonomous sailing and automatic collision prevention viable by utilizing OZT.

As part of the “Ishin Next-MOL Smart Ship Project”, MOL aims to apply ICT technology to improve service quality and efficiency.

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