HD Hyundai, Avikus to spearhead verification of fuel savings through autonomous navigation

South Korea’s shipbuilding major Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, a subsidiary of HD Hyundai, has signed an agreement with Avikus, a compatriot startup specializing in autonomous navigation solutions, to conduct a fuel-saving verification project using autonomous navigation systems.

Image credit Avikus

The project aims to verify the fuel-saving effect of autonomous navigation systems on actual ships.

South Korean shipping company Pan Ocean, ship management company POS SM, and the Korean Register of Shipping will also take part in the endavour.

According to Avikus, although the concept of the optimal route already exists, there have been difficulties in realizing it due to the need for manual adjustments to speed and route depending on weather conditions.

Energy-saving verification has been conducted only through simulations led by shipbuilders or equipment manufacturers.

This project, however, will verify the automatic execution of optimal route and speed plans based on autonomous navigation systems and actual ship operating data, making the results more reliable. This verification is expected to be a significant development in the field of eco-friendly and autonomous navigation, Avikus added.

Avikus, established in December 2020 by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group, plans to use its HiNAS2.0 autonomous navigation system for verification. It uses an AI-based system that guides the optimal navigation route by integrating the information provided by various navigation equipment and sensors and performs collision avoidance. As explained, the automatic control of optimal route and speed planning is expected to lead to substantial fuel savings.
As part of the project, Pan Ocean and POS SM will provide operational ships and data, and conduct feasibility assessments of the verification process. KSOE will develop a fuel-saving verification framework through data analysis, while the Korean Register of Shipping will evaluate the developed framework for fuel-saving verification and perform technical reviews for stable implementation and operation of HiNAS2.0.
Pan Ocean is also developing and verifying eco-friendly solutions, such as a rotor sail pilot operation with the Korean Register of Shipping and KSOE, while the shipbuilder is working on the development and verification of alternative fuel supply systems, such as hydrogen/carbon dioxide/ammonia.

Avikus said that there was also interest and expectations for synergy effects through future collaborations.
In May 2022, Avikus completed the world’s first transoceanic autonomous navigation for 33 days on an LNG carrier, verifying a 7% improvement in propulsion fuel efficiency and a 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by autonomously navigating the optimal route.

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“This project is important in quantitatively verifying the fuel and carbon reduction effects of autonomous navigation based on actual operating data,” said Avikus CEO Lim Do-hyung.

“We will continue to develop technology to improve fuel efficiency and respond to environmental regulations.”
“This joint cooperation will provide significant research that can confirm the improvement in ship operation efficiency and carbon emission reduction through the use of autonomous navigation technology,” said Pan Ocean CEO Ahn Jung-ho.

“It is expected to greatly contribute to achieving Pan Ocean’s declaration of carbon neutrality by 2050.”
The Korean Register and Liberian Registry awarded HINAS2.0 system Approval in Principle earlier this year, after verifying safety and suitability through the review of classification rules and domestic and international regulations.

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HD Hyundai has also teamed up with the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to work on real-life trials of autonomous ship technologies.

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