South Korea’s major shipbuilding group Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, a subsidiary of HD Hyundai, has signed an agreement with Avikus, a compatriot startup specializing in autonomous navigation solutions, to carry out a project to test fuel economy with autonomous navigation systems.
The aim of the project is to verify the fuel-saving effect of autonomous navigation systems on real ships.
The South Korean shipping company Pan Ocean, the ship management company POS SM and the Korean Register of Shipping will also participate in the project.
According to Avikus, although the concept of the optimal route already exists, there were difficulties in implementing it, as the speed and route had to be manually adjusted depending on the weather conditions.
Verification of energy saving was performed only through simulations led by shipbuilders or equipment manufacturers.
However, this project will verify the automatic execution of optimal route and speed plans based on autonomous navigation systems and actual ship operational data, making the results more reliable. This verification is expected to be a significant development in the field of green and autonomous navigation, Avikus added.
Founded in December 2020 by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group, Avikus plans to deploy its HiNAS2.0 autonomous navigation system for verification. It uses an AI-based system that guides the optimal navigation route by integrating the information provided by various navigation devices and sensors and performs collision avoidance. As explained, the automatic control of optimal route and speed planning should lead to significant fuel savings.
As part of the project, Pan Ocean and POS SM will provide operational vessels and data and conduct feasibility assessments of the verification process. KSOE will develop a fuel savings verification framework through data analysis, while the Korean Register of Shipping will evaluate the developed fuel savings verification framework and conduct technical reviews for stable implementation and operation of HiNAS2.0.
Pan Ocean also develops and verifies environmentally friendly solutions, such as B. a rotor sail pilot operation with the Korean Register of Shipping and KSOE, while the shipbuilder is working on the development and verification of alternative fuel supply systems such as hydrogen/carbon dioxide/ammonia.
Avikus said there is also interest in and expectations of synergy effects from future collaborations.
In May 2022, Avikus completed the world’s first 33-day transoceanic autonomous navigation on an LNG carrier, confirming a 7 percent improvement in propulsion fuel efficiency and a 5 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from autonomously navigating the optimal route.
“This project is important to quantitatively verify the fuel and CO2 reduction effects of autonomous navigation based on actual operational data,” said Avikus CEO Lim Do-hyung.
“We will continue to develop technologies to improve fuel efficiency and respond to environmental regulations.”
“This joint collaboration will deliver significant research results that can validate the improvement of ship operational efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions through the use of autonomous navigation technology,” said the CEO of Pan Ocean Ahn Jung-ho.
“It is expected to make a major contribution to achieving Pan Ocean’s declaration of carbon neutrality by 2050.”
The Korean registry and the Liberian registry granted the HINAS2.0 system approval in principle earlier this year after verifying its safety and suitability through review of classification rules and national and international regulations.
HD Hyundai has also partnered with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) classification society to work on real-world testing of autonomous ship technologies.
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