NYK car carrier used as autonomous sailing testbed

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has conducted a series of autonomous ship sailing trials under a programme aimed at reducing crew workload.

The company used the 70,000-tonne pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) Iris Leader as the testbed for the trials, which were carried out under both daytime and nighttime conditions in the second half of September 2019. The vessel sailed from Xinsha, China, to Nagoya, and then to Yokohama.

During the trials, the autonomous navigation system’s performance in actual sea conditions was monitored as it collected information on environmental conditions around the ship from existing navigational devices, calculated collision risk, automatically determined optimal routes and speeds that were safe and economical, and then automatically navigated the ship.

NYK will analyse the data and continue to develop the autonomous navigation system into a more advanced navigation-support system by making adjustments to the difference between the optimal course derived by the system and that determined by professional human judgment.

Baird Maritime

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