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Maritime News

Public private sectors join forces for self navigating ships

The transport ministry and major shipping companies aim to put self navigating vessels into practical use by 2025 it has been learned.They seek to enhance maritime safety and deal with a shortage of workers through self navigating vessels that receive operational guidance from land via telecommunications. The ministry will take the lead in creating international rules concerning the self-navigating vessels while shipping firms will accelerate technological development.


Self navigating vessels would receive remote support for their operations from a control center on land communicating through artificial satellites making it possible to do things like convey optimal sea routes from land and realize automatic docking and undocking.This will likely reduce the burden on crew members.


Moves to develop these vessels have been accelerating mainly in European countries, including Britain.Major shipping firm Nippon Yusen K.K. will accelerate efforts to develop technologies for self navigating vessels to reduce the burden of such tasks as around the clock watches by crew members.The company intends to develop a computer program that automatically detects the possibility of a collision with another ship or floating objects and helps the ship avoid this through remote control.


However, some crew members will be needed to respond in cases of accidents so the company has no plan to aim for the operation of completely unmanned ships.About 80 percent of accidents at sea are caused by human errors, such as insufficient watching and inappropriate operation. The introduction of self navigating vessels is expected to help reduce such accidents.

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