Korean autonomous navigation firm Avikus, founded by Hyundai Heavy Industries in January 2021, has agreed new contracts to supply its HiNAS 2.0 system to 23 vessels operated by SK Shipping and Janggeum Merchant Marine.
The deals were announced just two months after Avikus announced the completion of a successful autonomous trans-ocean voyage trial with SK Shipping, using HiNAS 2.0 aboard the 180,000m2 ultra-large LNG carrier PRISM COURAGE.
During the trial, the vessel travelled from the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and arrived at the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Chungcheong Province in Korea after 33 days, passing through the Panama Canal en route. The ship sailed half of the approximately 20,000 kilometres total distance using the autonomous systems.
Avikus will now start working with SK Shipping and Janggeum Merchant Marine to plan installation of the autonomous systems on 23 container ships and LNG carriers owned by the two shipping companies, expected to begin in August next year.
The HiNAS 2.0 technology includes artificial intelligence software that is used to recognise the surrounding environment and operational conditions, including weather and wave heights as well as nearby ships.
The system then controls the vessel’s steering commands in real-time, creating its own optimal routes and speeds.