Autonomous Container Ship: Reducing costs and increasing safety

Barcelona, September 7, 2017.- Major builders of means of transport and large logistics brands investigate if it is possible that there may soon be trucks and autonomous ships. Both projects are burning stages to get closer to its commercialization. According to the promoters, in the case of container ships, logistical costs will be reduced and security will be gained in loading, unloading and shipping operations. The following analysis has been read in a serious and rigorous publication, Bloomberg Technology:


Japan’s largest container line plans to test a remote-controlled vessel across the Pacific Ocean in 2019 as it pursues fully autonomous technology that could disrupt the global shipping industry. Nippon Yusen K.K. is considering using a large container ship for the test from Japan to North America and a crew will be on standby for safe operations, Hideyuki Ando, a senior general manager at Monohakobi Technology Institute, said in an interview Wednesday. The institute, a unit of Nippon Yusen, conducts research and development in areas such as safe vessel operation, energy saving, and logistics.

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The Tokyo-based cargo carrier is joining a list of companies worldwide working to develop vessels without sailors that may help the $334 billionglobal shipping industry cut costs and boost safety. The technology may help eliminate human errors that are responsible for a vast majority of all marine casualties.

The U.S. Navy’s warships were involved in four serious incidents in the western Pacific this year, resulting in loss of lives and damage to defense hardware. In the latest accident this week, 10 American sailors were reported missing and five injured after an oil tanker rammed into the USS John S. McCain, a guided missile destroyer, off the Malacca Strait — home to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, and fertilizer producer Yara International ASA are all studyingthe introduction of autonomous ships. Yara is aiming to test remote operation in coastal waters in 2019, it said in May.

Nippon Yusen said last year that it tied up with radar manufacturer Furuno Electric Co. and communication equipment-makers Japan Radio Co. and Tokyo Keiki Inc. to study crash avoidance techniques using autonomous ships.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan’s second- and third-largest shipping lines, are also working on autonomous ship technology but declined to say when they would sail a test ship.

More Information:

Bloomberg Technology

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