A key factor in ensuring safe vessel operation is watchkeeping by seafarers. However, some objects such as fishing boats, buoys and debris, may not be detected by currently available systems such as radar, putting extra strain on watchkeepers.
To address this issue, Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL) is undertaking joint research with JRCS Co., Ltd. on the use of AI-based object recognition (computer vision) technology to supporting watchkeeping while underway.
As part of the research, JRCS’s Infoceanus Command computer vision based solution will be installed aboard an MOL vessel to verify its technical capability to recognize objects, including targets undetectable using currently available systems, and its effectiveness in supporting ship operation while underway.
In this verification test, the companies will confirm the equipment’s effectiveness at night and in low-visibility environments, particularly in situations that are stressful for seafarers, helping them estimate other vessels’ positions, travel directions, and speeds, as well as the distance between them and their own vessel, with the ultimate goal of recognizing such objects during autonomous sailing.