Lloyd’s Register has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ST Engineering Electronics Ltd. (STEE) and Mitsui & Co. to develop the world’s first ocean-going autonomous navigation system.
An announcement made on April 10, 2019, during Singapore Maritime Week revealed that the MoU will provide a foundation for the ‘World’s Largest Ocean-Going Autonomous Vessel Programme’, an initiative funded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
According to a statement, rising interest in “maritime autonomy and remote access/control technologies” represents a technological shift in the maritime sector overall.
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It has also been emphasized that, in order for autonomous technologies to be adopted successfully, “robust use cases” must be established which improve navigational safety and supply chain efficiency, in addition to reducing the operational costs of marine assets.
Credit: Lloyd's Register
There is also an expectation that the growth of automated technologies within the shipping industry will offer new opportunities to skilled seafarers who will be responsible for “the safe and sustainable integration of autonomous systems”.
IT solutions provider STEE has already developed autonomous systems capable of achieving safety and efficiency requirements, and will now work with Lloyd’s Register to scale these technologies for the commercial marine market.
Advanced systems including position manoeuvring, digital pilot vision and collision detection and avoidance technology will be fitted… #PTIDaily #Singapore #Shipping #Automation https://t.co/u4mkWQPIhU
— Port Technology (PTI) (@PortTechnology) April 10, 2019
STEE also will offer technical expertise and advanced learnings on autonomous shipping for the marine environment.
Andy McKeran, Lloyd’s Register Commercial Director for Marine & Offshore, said: “LR’s involvement in this project builds on the capability and experience already gained from our partnership in other industry-leading and world first autonomous projects.
“However, this project, a world first for the deployment of autonomous navigational technology to an ocean-going vessel for commercial operations, pushes the boundaries of autonomous technology and moves the industry towards deployment of autonomous navigation systems onboard vessels for enhanced performance and critically, safety.”