ABS, HD Hyundai team up on autonomous technology for ships

American classification society ABS and South Korean HD Hyundai have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on autonomous technology for ships.

Credit: ABS

As informed, the partners met at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to finalize the agreement covering four areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence-based Autonomous Machinery Health Management Function (HiCBM);
  • Artificial Intelligence-based Autonomous Safety Management Function (HiCAMS);
  • Artificial Intelligence-based Autonomous LNG Fuel Gas Supply System (Hi-GAS+ SMART FGSS);
  • Artificial Intelligence-based Smart LNG Boil-off Gas Management System (Hi-GAS+ AI CHS).

The scope of the MoU builds on the previous strategic framework agreement that the companies signed at the 2022 CES.

Under that agreement, ABS worked with HD Hyundai subsidiaries, Avikus and Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE).

There were several major achievements including the demonstration of technology developed by Avikus, enabling the 180,000 cbm liquified natural gas (LNG) carrier, Prism Courage, to sail in autonomous mode, under direct supervision, for roughly half of its voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

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Prism Courage departed from the Freeport on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico on 1 May 2022, passed through the Panama Canal, and finally arrived at the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Chungcheong Province in Korea. The trip took 33 days. The LNG carrier sailed half of roughly 20,000 kilometres in total distance with autonomous navigation technology.

“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,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.

“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,” said Ki-sun Chung, President and CEO of HD Hyundai.

ABS and HD Hyundai are coordinating joint development projects (JDPs) to begin in the first quarter of 2023.