In January, we posted about the successful test demonstration of the world’s first fully autonomous ship navigation systems on a large car ferry on a 240-km route from Shinmoji (Northern Kyushu) to Iyonada, Japan.
Now, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line), partnering with Orca AI, has demonstrated an autonomous 750 gross-ton commercial cargo ship, Suzaka, on a 40 hour, 500-mile voyage in the congested waters of Tokyo Bay, traveling without human intervention for 99% of the trip.
During Suzaka’s 500-mile voyage, the autonomous cargo ship performed 107 collision avoidance maneuvers without the help of a human. The program director suggests that Suzaka avoided between 400-500 other vessels on the water during its outbound trip alone.
According to Orca AI, its safety navigation system was set up on the cargo ship to operate as a “human watchkeeper,” providing real-time detection, tracking, classification, and range estimation on eighteen onboard cameras, combined to provide a 360° view, day and night.