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Groke Technologies secures investment from three tanker operators

Projection screen sample (left) and GROKE AS Pro (right) Projection screen sample (left) and GROKE AS Pro (right)

Finnish-based shipping tech start-up Groke Technologies has raised funds from three major Japanese tanker operators – Uyeno Transtech, Tsurumi Sunmarine and Asahi Tanker.

The investment will enable all companies to contribute to solving the problem of a serious shortage of seafarers in the domestic shipping industry in Japan.

A press statement released by Uyeno Transtech noted: “We are cooperating in the development of the “eyes” of ships manufactured by Groke in order to build safer systems and to address the issues of seafarer shortage and aging in the domestic shipping industry. Since 2020, we have installed cameras on our vessels and have taken millions of image data and sent them to Groke. Groke has created a situational awareness system that displays ship information such as position together with other sensors after letting AI learn this and making the other ship including fishing boats image-recognise with a camera.”

Tsurumi Sunmarine is looking at solving the problems of seafarer shortage and aging for the survival and development of domestic shipping, or the way seafarers work.

The company stated in a release: “We believe that the realisation of reforms is essential. For this reason, a member involved in the development of autonomous vessels in Europe was founded. We have been paying attention to the potential of Groke from early on, and will participate in and cooperate with the development of their situational awareness system.

“With the acquisition of the company’s shares, we will be more proactive in resolving various issues through the company’s solutions.”

Asahi Tanker is currently focusing on the development of a "situational awareness system" that monitors the situation around the ship. The company plans to start sales around the spring of 2022. Through the investment, Asahi Tanker will promote further safe operation, contribute to solving the problem of a serious shortage of seafarers in the domestic shipping industry.

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