Lloyd’s Register (LR) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ST Engineering Electronics (STEE) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd to develop the world’s first ocean-going autonomous navigation system.
The MOU was announced today during Singapore Maritime Week 2019, a maritime event held annually in Singapore.
Specifically, the partners plan to collaborate on the ‘Development of Ocean-going Autonomous Navigation System on a Marine Asset’ project.
As informed, the MOU forms the foundation of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore-funded ‘World’s Largest Ocean-Going Autonomous Vessel Programme’, which was also announced today.
“This project, a world first for the deployment of autonomous navigational technology to an ocean-going vessel for commercial operations, pushes the boundaries of autonomous technology and moves the industry towards deployment of autonomous navigation systems onboard vessels for enhanced performance and critically, safety,” Andy McKeran, LR Commercial Director Marine & Offshore, commented.
He added that increasing interest in maritime autonomy and remote access/control technologies exemplifies technological changes the maritime industry is facing. The key to the success and safe adoption of these technologies is that robust use cases are established, according to McKeran.
“Autonomous systems will also provide opportunities for skilled seafarers to focus on what they do best, and the safe and sustainable integration of autonomous systems relies on the appropriate engagement with seafaring professionals,” McKeran further said.
“Working with STEE, who have already developed and proven this capability and are now looking to work to scale in the commercial marine market, is what sets this project apart; STEE provide … technical expertise, technology and advanced learnings on autonomous systems… We will support with expertise on assurance, certification and regulation for the application of autonomy in the maritime environment as well as approval of systems where appropriate,” he concluded.