Avikus, a HD Hyundai company specialising in autonomous vessel navigation technologies, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with KMCP, a marine taxi operator planning to begin operations in the Korean port city of Busan in 2025, to install its NeuBoat NAVI and NeuBoat DOCK systems on the vessels.
The NeuBoat technologies are autonomous navigation systems for smaller craft based on Avikus’ flagship HiNAS system for large merchant ships. Busan plans to operate four six-seater KMCP maritime taxis along a 14km section around Yeongdo under the project.
The technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine the optimal route in real time, allowing the vessel to navigate by itself and automatically avoid obstacles. The autonomous docking system allows vessels to manage berthing using 3D surround view monitoring.
Avikus has already demonstrated the use of its autonomous systems for a trans-ocean voyage in June of last year, on board an LNG carrier travelling from the Gulf of Mexico in the US to South Korea. The vessel PRISM COURAGE, operated by fellow Korean company SK Shipping, sailed half of the approximately 20,000 kilometres total distance using the autonomous systems.
To date, Avikus says that it has received orders for 300 vessels for its HiNAS technology from both Korean and global shipping companies.