ABS and HD Hyundai sign new agreement to work on autonomous projects

Classification society ABS has signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HD Hyundai to work together on expanding the development of autonomous technologies into vessel machinery and safety systems.

The scope of the agreement covers four specific research areas for automation through the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence, including vessel machinery health management, safety management, LNG fuel gas supply and LNG boil-off gas management.

“HD Hyundai is one of the most advanced companies in developing and commercialising autonomous navigation technology. We are excited to expand our work with ABS, a leader in the industry in supporting autonomous projects,” said Ki-sun Chung, President and CEO of HD Hyundai.

“Through this agreement with ABS, we expect to further advance autonomous vessel technology that will support autonomous engine room operations as well as safety management.”

The MoU builds on a previous Strategic Framework Agreement that the companies signed in 2022, which saw ABS work with two HD Hyundai subsidiaries, Avikus and Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE), on autonomous systems development.

One of the major achievements of the partnership included a demonstration of technology developed by Avikus to enable the LNG carrier Prism Courage to sail in autonomous mode, under direct supervision, for roughly half of a voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

“This is an exciting time for innovation and technology breakthroughs in maritime, and we are looking forward to continuing to evolve industry solutions with HD Hyundai to drive more efficient operations and advances in safety, addressing the challenges of today and those in the future,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.

“The Prism Courage voyage was a milestone for the entire shipping industry and demonstrated the potential of artificial intelligence and autonomous functions to contribute to safe navigation at sea.”

Joint development projects under the new agreement are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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