Japan launches autonomous ship R&D project

MAY 28, 2017 — Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and ., Ltd. are researching a technological concept for an autonomous ocean transportation system.

The project is to receiving research funding from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) under its FY2017 Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program.

The research consortium also includes the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, ClassNK, Japan Ship Technology Research Association, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc.

The consortium members will develop the technological concept for autonomous vessels, drawing upon the strengths of each participating company and organization, setting a course toward development of the technology needed to realize autonomous vessels that can provide reliable, safe, and efficient ocean transport.

"In addition to promoting technology for autonomous ocean transport systems," says MOL, "the project will foster a movement to develop the required infrastructure and win public support for implementation of these advanced technologies by sharing the results with society and the maritime industry as the research progresses."

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