Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed an agreement with Furuno Electric and MOL Techno-Trade to jointly develop a system that supports ship operation during voyages using augmented reality (AR) technology.
In this project, information — e.g. other ships sailing around the vessel and landmarks like buoys at sea — can be shown on tablets and other displays, based on data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS), MOL said.
As explained, images of landscapes taken from the bridge can also be shown on the same tablets and these images will overlap with AR to provide visual support to crewmembers operating ships and keeping watch during voyages.
The company is looking at ways to overlap displays of obstacles taken by radar, adding an Obstacle Zone by Target (OZT), which is an algorithm to prevent collisions between vessels, and supplementing displays of obstacles using image recognition technologies to expand such functions. Functions are expected to be improved during fiscal year 2018.
MOL expects this technology to play a key role in enabling autonomous ships to operate in the future.