The DFFAS (Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship) project comprising 30 Japanese companies including NYK and NYK Group companies Japan Marine Science, MTI, and Kinkai Yusen Kaisha has completed the construction of a fleet operation centre (FOC) in Makuhari, Chiba city. The centre will provide onshore support for crewless maritime autonomous surface ships.
The first ever Unmanned Marine Systems (UMS) certificate has been awarded to SEA-KIT International by Lloyd’s Register, representing an important milestone for the maritime industry.
Fischer Panda UK’s electric drive system and generators will power the world’s first fully automated vessel, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS), when it sets sail on its historic maiden voyage across the Atlantic this June.
Kongsberg Maritime will supply Norway’s Institute of Marine Research (IMR) with four autonomous vessels.
Researchers at UAntwerp and the Port of Antwerp are testing how 3D sonar sensors can be used to improve awareness of a ship’s surroundings for autonomous shipping.
tpgroup’s patent pending autonomous navigation system, Northstar, has completed its sea trials programme, demonstrating that it can safely navigate unmanned vessels in real-time and in a real-life environment - without human intervention.
Weathernews has been selected as a member of the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship Project (DFFAS), made up of 22 domestic companies who will collaborate on the Joint Technological Development Programme for the Demonstration of Unmanned Ships administered by the Nippon Foundation.
Wärtsilä has joined the Mayflower Autonomous ship project, providing its high-speed, high-resolution FMCW K-Band radar (24GHz) designed to provide high levels of situational awareness in densely populated marine environments.
Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, has collaborated with Shin Nihonkai Ferry to co-develop technologies and systems to enable unmanned ship navigation.
Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics has successfully demonstrated its autonomous systems in action onboard a Kvichak Marco skimmer boat during events held along the Portland harbour this week.
Sea Machines’ on-water demonstrations took place onboard the world’s first autonomous spill response vessel. The Vigor/Kvichak Marine Industries-built skimmer boat, owned by Marine Spill Response Corp. (MSRC), performed remote autonomous operations in front of a live audience including those from the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), of which Sea Machines has a cooperative agreement with. Government, naval, international, environmental and industry representatives were also present.
From a shoreside location at Portland Yacht Services, a Sea Machines operator commanded the SM300-equipped skimmer boat to perform the following capabilities:
Sea Machines also discussed how to operate the skimmer in an unmanned autonomous mode, which enables operators to respond to spill events 24/7 depending on recovery conditions, even when crews are restricted. These configurations also reduce or eliminate exposure of crewmembers to challenging sea and weather, toxic fumes and other safety hazards.
“Our operation of the world’s first autonomous, remote-commanded spill-response vessel is yet another significant industry first for Sea Machines,” said Michael G. Johnson, founder and CEO, Sea Machines. “But even more important is the fact that we’ve proven that our technology can be applied to the marine spill response industry – as well as other marine sectors – to protect the health and lives of mariners responding to spills. We are proud to support MSRC’s mission of response preparedness and to work alongside MARAD for these important demonstrations.”
“MSRC is excited to work with Sea Machines on this new technology. The safety of our personnel is the most important consideration in any response. Autonomous technology enhances safe operations,” said John Swift, vice president, MSRC.
"This is the future of the maritime industry. It’s safer, it’s faster, it’s more cost-effective,” said Richard Balzano, deputy administrator, MARAD. “This technology is here and it will make you a believer. We are here because we want to help the maritime industry evolve. It’s about safety, the environment and reducing risk on the water.”
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