first voyage of a semi-autonomous ship

It’s not just self-driving cars in life. There are also ships! A subsidiary of Hyundai has navigated a huge building semi-autonomously, a first in the world.

In a context of labor shortages and the absolute need to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, autonomous ships have every right to be widely deployed in ports around the world.

Nearly 10,000 kilometers in autonomy

Avikus, a subsidiary of Hyundai, announced a first: one of its ships sailed semi-autonomously, without danger for the crew or for the other boats crossed on its way. The Prism Courage left Freeport, in the Gulf of Mexico on May 1, for the port of Boryeong, South Korea.

The building used version 2.0 of the HiNAS autonomous navigation system developed by Avikus. A level 2 artificial intelligence that allowed the Prism Courage to complete half of its journey (almost 10,000 kilometers out of a total of approximately 20,000 km) without the help of the crew.

This autonomous navigation took place in the open sea. She was able to avoid other ships, take into account the weather and the swell. For everything else, especially the trickier and more complex maneuvers in ports, the human crew took over. And it will still be needed for a long time before ships reach level 5 of autonomous driving!

Despite everything, Avikus emphasizes the gain in energy efficiency, with fuel consumption down by 7%, and a reduction in emissions by 5%. The HiNAS system calculated more efficient and less energy-intensive routes. Hyundai hopes to commercialize its technology by the end of the year. It could well find takers among many shipowners wishing to save money, while respecting their environmental objectives.

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