Jan 9, 2023 | Marine environment & clean shipping news

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), the intermediate holding company of HD Hyundai, is joining hands with American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to take another step forward to developing unmanned ships that can navigate and perform safety diagnosis without human assistance.

KSOE has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ABS on the development and demonstration of automated machinery and integrated safety control systems in autonomous ships

Sungjoon Kim, Senior EVP and head of KSOE Advanced Research Centre said: “We plan to cooperate with ABS on the AI-based LNG fuel propulsion system (Hi-GAS+) demonstration project that won the CES 2023 Innovation Award. Through the MoU, we hope to further extend our lead in unmanned technology, that enables autonomous navigation and self-diagnosis of equipment and safety.”

The two parties plan to demonstrate KSOE’s machinery automation system (HiCBM) and onboard integrated safety control system (HiCAMS) on actual ships for the first time globally by 2024. HiCBM and HiCAMS are AI-based solutions that allow ships to self-diagnose the condition of machinery and equipment within the ship such as engines and generators, and automatically recognise and respond to unexpected situations such as fire. KSOE obtained approval in principle (AiP) for the two systems from ABS in September 2022. The two will work to bring a successful demonstration of the two systems which will mark the realisation of the first unmanned large merchant vessel capable of operating for long periods without the assistance of a navigator, engineer or even a deckhand.

Patrick Ryan, ABS SVP Global Engineering and Technology, said: “ABS is leading the industry in supporting autonomous projects and assisting pioneers like HD Hyundai and KSOE. Autonomous technologies that are fully integrated within the broader vessel infrastructure have the potential to increase safety by reducing human error.”

In June 2022, HD Hyundai’s subsidiary Avikus, installed an autonomous navigation system on a large merchant ship and succeeded in crossing the ocean for the first time.

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