Containership Sails 800 NM Using Autonomous Navigation

Containership Sails 800 NM Using Autonomous Navigation

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has announced that a 15,000 TEU containership has completed a voyage of 800 NM using the company’s autonomous navigation technology. The voyage represents the first international test of Samsung’s smart ship technology.

The voyage saw the containership sail from the SHI shipyard in Geoje into the South China Sea and on to Kaohsiung in Taiwan - a distance of approximately 800 nautical miles.

During the trip, Samsung’s autonomous system identified over 9,000 obstacles, including other ships and buoys. In total, the ship encountered 90 other vessels during the six-day demonstration - which took place from 26th June to 1st July.

According to a statement from Samsung, the routes developed by the autonomous system matched those developed by the vessel’s navigator more than 90 percent of the time.

The system actually integrates several advanced autonomous technologies. These include the vessel’s AIS, radar, camera sensors and other sensors around the ship.

The test forms part of SHI’s ongoing efforts to become a leader in smart shipping. As the company’s director of SHI’s autonomous operation research centre, Kim Hyun-Jo, said:

“We will continue to take a lead in autonomous operation and smart ship technologies with R&D”.

The test voyage is the latest in a number of real-world experiments that SHI has been conducting. In November 2022, SHI demonstrated autonomous navigation technologies aboard the Segyero, a training ship. That particular voyage saw the vessel traverse 500 nautical miles over the course of four days.

Although South Korean companies are leading some of the highest-profile projects, they aren’t alone. Both Japanese and Norwegian companies are testing out fully-autonomous ship operations at the time of writing.

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Andrew Yarwood
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