NYK completes second remote navigation test

NYK completes remote control test

NYK Group has completed a second remote navigation tugboat test as part of the Japanese government’s initiative to utilise autonomous vessels by 2025.

The carrier said the tests took place with Tokyo Bay and sae a manned tugboat operated remotely from the operation centre in the city of Nishinoiya, approximately kilometres away, via a remote-controlled system.

 During a previous test in January 2020, the operator in the remote operation centre used sensors and cameras equipped to the tugboat to recognise surrounding conditions, created a route plan and action plan for the remote control.

This second test sought to confirm response functions to equipment malfunctions or interruptions of ship-shore communication.

A signal sent remotely told the ship to stop as quickly as possible and automatically navigate at a reduced speed.

The purpose of the test, NYK Group said, was to confirm the optimisation function of data communication, depending on the available communication bandwidth for remote control operation.

To ensure stable remote manoeuvring, the amount of communication needs to be automatically adjusted. Therefore, the transferring data amount of radar echo needs to be controlled according to available communication bandwidth so that it does not affect other data transmissions.

NYK Group said it will continue to improve the system using the accumulated knowledge from the two remote navigation tests and will keep collaborating with partners to realise remote control of large vessels.

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