MOL Launches R&D on Autonomous Ocean Transport System - Global Trade Magazine
  May 31st, 2017 | Written by

MOL Launches R&D on Autonomous Ocean Transport System

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  • Research consortium will develop concept for autonomous vessels.
  • Research aims at developing autonomous vessels that can provide safe and efficient ocean transport.
  • Research project aims to develop the required infrastructure for autonomous shipping.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced that its joint project with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co. on developing a technological concept for autonomous ocean transport system, was selected by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) for its FY2017 Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program.

The research consortium for the project is comprised of MOL, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (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, 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.

The project will also examine ties to R&D on business concepts, systems, infrastructure, and societal implementation related to autonomous ocean transport, which is being planned by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association.

The Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program is a competitive research funding scheme aimed at solving issues in the traffic and transportation field, by broadly calling for research projects from researchers including those in the private sector. Four projects were selected for the current fiscal year, including this one.