South Korea Coordinates Autonomous Ship Efforts
Seeking to ensure its place in the growing number of imitatives to develop autonomous unnamed shipping solutions, South Korea is establishing a new effort to spur the development and commercialization of autonomous ship technology.
South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and its Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries are working together to established a new task force to coordinate efforts in artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of things for the development of autonomous ships.
The efforts reportedly will focus on key applications for the new technology in shipping. They will explore navigation systems, engine room automation, communications, and land-based operation system with a goal of conducting international demonstrations to commercial these technologies. As part of the effort, a demonstration center will also be built in South Korea.
"We will promote the development of technologies related to completely unmanned autonomous ships," said Kang Kyung-sung, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s director of policy planning.
The South Korean government’s goal is to unite the current efforts exploring autonomous technologies underway at the country’s shipyards.
Hyundai Heavy Industries, for example, recently announced that it had successfully applied a key self-sailing technology for collision avoidance to a large vessel, marking the first time a core technology for autonomous sailing had been successfully installed and demonstrated on a large ship already in service. Hyundai also recently completed the development of HiBAS (Hyundai Intelligence Berthing Assistance System)
At the same time, Samsung Heavy Industries has announced that it is partnering with equipment manufacturers, including MAN Energy Solutions, on developing smart ship technologies. Samsung recently delivered a shuttle tanker which was the first vessel of its kind to receive DNV GL’s SmartShip Notation. At the end of 2019, Samsung working with SK Telecom conducted its first vessel tests on the industry’s first 5G-based autonomous and remote control navigation test platform.