Three NYK Group companies: NYK, Japan Marine Science Inc., and MTI Co., Ltd. — have participated in the MEGURI 2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Project administered by the Nippon Foundation.
All three companies are members of the Designing the Future of Fully Autonomous Ships Plus consortium, which comprises 51 companies based in Japan.
This news was announced on 20 July by the Nippon Foundation at a MEGURI2040 seminar, that provided an overview of the second stage of MEGURI2040 and the project’s initiatives.
The programme aims for full-scale commercialisation of fully autonomous ship technology by 2025, with four goals.
In addition to building next-generation ships that will assist the coastal shipping industry in the future, a demonstration of ship-land operations will be done to mimic the future coastal shipping sector that will be supported by completely autonomous ships.
The demonstration will use four different types of ships: a newly built full package containership with a fully autonomous operation system, an existing containership, a Ro-Ro cargo ship, and a remote island route ship with a system featuring some autonomous operation along with two Fleet Operation Centres.
Standardisation will refine the fully autonomous ship technology developed in the first stage.
By standardising these technologies to international standards, Japan’s maritime industry could be strengthened and lead international competition in fully autonomous ship technology.
The development-process infrastructure established in the first stage will be reinforced further by upgrading simulation technology, generalising risk assessments, etc.
According to NYK, social implementation will aid in the commercialisation of an autonomous navigation system by establishing the requisite certification mechanism.
To improve the environment for social implementation, NYK aims to utilise its knowledge of technological development to establish international and domestic rules for fully autonomous ships.
In addition, NYK will investigate human resource needs and training techniques to suit new working styles, study the use of deregulation and other strategies to assure the continued commercial usage of completely autonomous ships, and investigate insurance and freight rates for fully autonomous ships.