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Wednesday, November 11, 2020 

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding is participating in a project to explore the potential of the 'Roboship' concept, in a trial using actual surface vessels in the sea off Toyosu in Tokyo.

The Proof of Concept (PoC) test is using a passenger vessel owned by Tokyo Cruise Ship to demonstrate the technologies and ideas in support of the development and widespread adoption of a navigational support system for coastal vessels. The trial is part of the Roboship Joint Value Creation Project led by e5 Lab, jointly established in 2019 by four companies representing shipping companies and a trading company to develop EV (electric vehicle) ships and digitisation technologies. The project is a collaborative effort between e5 Lab, 22 companies and a ship classification society, including firms outside the shipbuilding and marine transport field, as a cooperative platform to create value and turn challenges into opportunities by addressing issues facing the ocean shipping industry.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, with assistance from related sections within MHI Group, has provided maritime-related engineering services, support for marine vessel remote control/autonomous navigation, and system integration for the vessel propulsion units. As part of the test, a navigation support system called Superbridge-X, with functions including route planning, course control, vessel speed control, and collision avoidance, has been installed in passenger vessel Urban Launch to conduct cruises in Tokyo Bay and other areas. In addition, a remotely operated unmanned surface vessel developed by MHI has been made available, and the two vessels used to demonstrate collision avoidance.

In its growth strategy, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding has set goals for the decarbonisation of the maritime economy through renewable energy and carbon recycling, and with e5 Lab is working to solve issues in the maritime industry through development of EV ships and digitisation.

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