Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, Shin Nihonkai Ferry to develop unmanned navigation system

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) subsidiary Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, in collaboration with Shin Nihonkai Ferry, has successfully applied for grant aid under the Joint Technological Development Programme for the Demonstration of Unmanned Ships sponsored by The Nippon Foundation.

The two companies will commence co-development of underlying technologies and systems to enable unmanned ship navigation in the future.

The resulting prototype system will be installed on a vessel to be operated by Shin Nihonkai Ferry and will undergo verification via demonstration testing in Japanese coastal waters.

Once the development phase has been completed, the prototype unmanned navigation system will be installed in a large high-speed car ferry ordered by Shin Nihonkai Ferry, to be built at the Tategami Main Plant of MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works.

Demonstration testing of the new system will be performed for approximately one year, starting from ship delivery scheduled for end-June 2021 through May 2022. During this phase, crew will be on board to monitor operations and ensure safety.

Under the new development program, the company will collaborate not only with Shin Nihonkai Ferry but also with academic institutions, IT businesses, and control system engineering firms in the design, construction, and total verification of a large car ferry which integrates advanced unmanned navigation technologies.

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