Japanese Consortium to Develop Autonomous Ocean Transport System

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism has selected a joint project led by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding to develop a technological concept for autonomous ocean transport system for its FY2017 Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program.

The research consortium of the project is comprised of MOL, Mitsui, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), Japan Ship Technology Research Association, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc.

The consortium members will develop the technological concept for autonomous vessels, drawing upon the strengths of each participating company and organization, setting a course toward development of the technology needed to realize autonomous vessels that can provide reliable, safe, and efficient ocean transport, MOL said.

In addition to promoting technology for autonomous ocean transport systems, the project will foster a movement to develop the required infrastructure and win public support for implementation of these advanced technologies by sharing the results with society and the maritime industry as the research progresses.

The project will also examine ties to research and development on business concepts, systems, infrastructure, and societal implementation related to autonomous ocean transport, which is being planned by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association.

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