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Monday, May 11, 2020 

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group reports that it has successfully applied a key self-sailing technology to a large vessel, spurring its efforts towards sophisticated smart ships.

In April 2020, HHI equipped a 250,000 dwt bulk carrier owned by SK Shipping with its latest HiNAS (Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System). Having completed the verification of HiNAS through a series of test runs, HHI Group has claimed a world first in application of the core technology for autonomous sailing to a large ship already in service.

Co-developed by HHI Group and the state-run Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), HiNAS automatically recognises surrounding vessels through camera analysis via artificial intelligence (AI) to determine and alert the risk of collision based on augmented reality (AR). Particularly noteworthy about this navigation support system is that even when visibility is limited at night or by sea fog, it can analyse and provide comprehensive information, such as the location and speed of obstacles, using infrared cameras.

This latest collision-avoiding technology, adding to the group’s existing set of smartship technologies, is accelerating HHI Group’s endeavors to take the lead in the autonomous ships market. In 2017, the group launched its Integrict-Smartship Solution (ISS), which collects and analyses real-time information on vessel navigation for efficient energy management and route optimisation. Since then, the group has won orders for ISS to be installed on about 150 ships. HHI Group has recently completed the development of HiBAS (Hyundai Intelligence Berthing Assistance System), which provides a full view of the ship when berthing or clearing.

“Because ship accidents typically lead to major damages, there is no way to overstate the importance of safety in sailing,” said an official of SK Shipping. “We expect this latest technology assisting autonomous operation of ships will help improve the economics and safety of our ships, enabling us to provide more stable transportation services.”

“Self-sailing vessels are ships of the future equipped with a wide array of the fourth industrial revolution technologies, such as IoT, big data and AI,” said an HHI Group spokesman. “By developing advanced technologies, we will accelerate the advent of the autonomous shipping era and secure a leadership position in this fast-growing market.”

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