NYK to install Orca AI fleetwide

Written by Marine Log Staff
Orca AI situational awareness data presented on screen

Orca AI acts as a fully automatic watch-keeper, powered by computer vision and deep learning algorithms

Japan’s Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) Group is to install the Orca AI automated situational awareness platform across its entire fleet.

The decision follows more than two years of collaboration between Orca AI and NYK, which has been seeking a safety system that can enable and empower crews to make better real-time decisions while navigating congested oceans. NYK also wanted to develop its understanding of navigational challenges facing the fleet and how they were being managed.

“Orca AI demonstrated that the safety of shipping operations can be improved by automating the task of target detection in low visibility in congested waters,” said Captain Jun Nakamura, manager of the autonomous ship team at NYK Group. “The platform serves as an automated lookout and recognizes dangerous targets and other vessels that may be overlooked by the human eye, reducing the probability of incidents at sea.”

“We are excited to partner with tech leaders such as NYK, deepening our collaboration with the company and supporting its ongoing aim to be a central player in the shipping industry’s digital revolution,” said Yarden Gross, CEO and co-founder of Tel-Aviv, Israel, headquartered Orca AI

The partnership began in August 2020 when NYK and MTI Co. installed a trial version of Orca AI’s platform on a ship operated by the NYK Group. Since then, the NYK Group and Orca have also completed a successful autonomous voyage trial in congested waters near Japan’s east coast through the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ships (DFFAS) consortium, which includes 30 Japanese firms.

The NYK trial was part of the MEGURI 2040 Project supported by the Nippon Foundation. It was carried out using the Suzaku, a 749 gross tonne autonomous containership fitted with Orca’s artificial intelligence and deep-learning technology. Traveling from Tokyo Bay to the port of Tsumatsusaka in the Ise Bay, the vessel achieved 40 hours of navigation with complete autonomy for about 98% of the voyage.

The vessel automatically carried out 107 collision avoidance maneuvers and avoided up to 500 ships using Orca’s safety navigation system. The platform provided real-time detection, tracking, and range estimation through 18 cameras with panoramic views operating 24/7 in any conditions.

Orca AI’s technology has already captured more than 10 million nautical miles of visual data and its team continues to innovate and develop the platform, including incorporating regulatory compliance such as CII into its interface.

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