K Line unveils ‘revolutionary’ AI-backed draft survey app

Japanese shipping major Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has teamed up with IT-support company TIS, and Miotsukushi Analytics, a consulting firm that specializes in data analysis, to develop a draft survey application that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI).

The application uses AI to recognize water surfaces and draft marks from smartphone-captured images. The application then eliminates the influence of waves, providing an accurate draft level measurement directly on the screen. This breakthrough in draft measurement technology led the trio to collectively file a patent application for their creation in late July.

Draft measurement plays a pivotal role in determining the cargo weight loaded onto dry bulk carriers, a task traditionally executed by crew members and surveyors relying on visual observation.

However, these measurements are often subject to the unpredictable conditions of the anchorage, where wave interference can introduce unexpected errors. Even seasoned maritime professionals have encountered challenges in maintaining the expected level of accuracy in such scenarios.

The draft survey application offers several key features, including high-precision detection capabilities for draft marks and water surfaces through the utilization of deep learning technologies. It incorporates a dedicated coordinate computing algorithm designed to calculate draft based on image detection.

Image credit: K Line

It employs multiple methods to ensure accurate draft measurements, including the leveling of continuously recorded draft levels. Moreover, it is optimized for smartphone use, enabling operation in areas without internet access, as all processing occurs locally at the terminal.

The automatic draft survey application leverages the advanced “AI and data analysis service” offerings from TIS and Miotsukushi. It has been described as ‘revolutionary’ for draft measurement, traditionally reliant on human expertise, ensuring a higher degree of precision.

This solution is expected to enhance safety during navigation and cargo operations while also optimizing cargo transportation volumes.

Digitalization is at the heart of K Line”s medium-term management plan unveiled in May 2022 the aim being elevating core values such as safety, environmental preservation, and quality while bolstering the company’s competitiveness.