MOL completes navigation support system study

The OZT decision support system

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced the completion of a joint assessment and feasibility study with Japan’s National Maritime Research Institute (NMRI) and the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, exploring the capabilities of a range of new navigation support systems.

The tests were carried out using an NMRI-owned ship handling risk simulator, which has a horizontal view angle of 240-degrees.

When keep watch during ship operations, mariners must first be able to see an object, and then judge whether that object poses a risk to the vessel. If the mariner perceives a risk to the vessel then some action must be taken to avoid it, such as veering, slow steaming, and so on.

MOL and its partners are looking to improve this process by providing decision support the use of an ‘Obstacle Zone by Target’ (OZT) collision avoidance algorithm, which can help to spot objects and determine whether they are potential sources of risk. The system’s bridge view display provides information on the positions of nearby vessels and offers guidance on their risk profile.

The Japanese shipping company says that the group will continue with further research and development of the system to integrate augmented reality (AR) technologies that can overlap AIS data on the displays, as well as information from radar, camera images from the bridge, and other navigation support systems.

The long-range goal is to create a platform enabling autonomous sailing and automatic collision prevention utilising the OZT system, MOL says.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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