Industry firsts: SHI tests autonomous navigation system on 15K TEU boxship

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has tested an autonomous navigation system installed onboard a 15,000 TEU containership.

Samsung Heavy Industries

The demonstration, dubbed the industry’s first, was carried out between South Korea and Taiwan. The South Korean firm equipped the vessel with its remote autonomous navigation system (SAS) and smart ship system (SVESSEL). The boxship was built at Geoje shipyard.

The ship started its journey on 26 June and completed on 1 July. It passed Jeju Island to Taiwan, demonstrating its autonomous navigation technology by operating about 1,500km to Kaohsiung Port, according to SHI.

This demonstration test was conducted by integrating advanced autonomous navigation technologies such as AIS, radar, camera sensors, and sensor fusion.

The systems provided safe avoidance routes in the busy South China Sea when vessels approached head on or crossing the ship. The company emphasized the route adopted by the autonomous navigation system matched that determined by experienced navigators by over 90%.

“Samsung Heavy Industries’ advanced autonomous navigation technology has been proven by succeeding in demonstrating on global routes following the demonstration returning to Jeju Island and Dokdo last year,” said Kim Hyeon-jo, head of the autonomous navigation research center at Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

To remind, SHI signed an agreement for the development of autonomous LNG carriers with Norwegian Kongsberg in March this year.

Under the joint development agreement, the companies aim to develop a 174,000 cbm next-generation LNG carrier that will use the latest remote autonomous navigation and low-carbon technology for safer and more energy-efficient operations.

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