SuperyachtNews.com – Technology – Overview of Avikus Autonomous Vessels
After a successful test along the Pohang Canal, the South Korean company is preparing to launch its ship across the world …
The rise in popularity of self-driving cars on land – namely Tesla – will undoubtedly influence customer perspectives on the use of technology for boats and yachts. Avikus is a new subsidiary of the Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) group specializing in autonomous navigation technology. As the world’s largest shipbuilder in South Korea, it wants to streamline this key part of the logistics supply chain, but also to install its equipment on craft.
Avikus has developed an advanced autonomous navigation technology called HiNAS (Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System) which recognizes objects surrounding the vessel and the planned route to alert sailors of the risk of collision, based on augmented reality. To do this, it uses six specialized cameras and LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), a remote sensing technology. In April of this year, Avikus installed HiNAS for the first time on a large merchant vessel and plans to equip the technology on 70 more vessels over the next 12 months. The team also plans to orchestrate a transoceanic voyage early next year.
In June, Avikus completed a fully autonomous, unmanned operation of its prototype pleasure craft with 12 passengers on board. The team chose the ten-kilometer-long Pohang Canal, known to be a difficult and congested waterway, to demonstrate how their vessel works. Following this successful maiden voyage, he hopes to launch the world’s first autonomous pleasure craft in 2022. For Lim Do-hyeong, CEO of Avikus, this not only makes boating much more efficient, but could also alleviate concerns. marine enthusiasts. “By applying autonomous navigation technology to pleasure craft, users can dramatically reduce the time required for docking and mooring, as well as the risk of accidents during operation,” he notes.
Do-hyeong believes that this autonomous technology will open up the world of sailing to everyone. “The autonomous navigation solution for pleasure boats was developed so that everyone can easily enjoy oceanic recreation. The new technology has various functions including route planning to destinations, autonomous obstacle detection, collision avoidance, automated parking and mobile surveillance, but it is still in the prototype stage.
Safety is always part of the conversation when it comes to autonomous technology, as human error is the root cause of a significant number of accidents and injuries, both ashore in cars and at sea on the boats. Do-hyeong believes that the higher the percentage of boats that use this technology, the better. “Deep learning technology is applied to HiNAS, which greatly increases the safety of navigation as it automatically detects missed obstacles with existing sensors and prevents collisions. If HiNAS is widely used, we can prevent hundreds of collisions and stranding accidents every year. “
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recently updated its regulatory framework to reflect the progress of autonomous ships. Avikus has successfully created a vessel that operates under “Degree One” [a ship with automated processes and decision support: Seafarers are on board to operate and control shipboard systems and functions. Some operations may be automated and at times be unsupervised but with seafarers on board ready to take control] and is about to unveil its standalone “Degree Two” model [a remotely controlled ship with seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location. Seafarers are available to take control and to operate the shipboard systems and functions] at the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada in January. As Do-hyeong sums it up: “The difference is in degree one, the responsibility for control lies with the sailor, while degree two automatically performs the control function through the system. “
Avikus’ technology developments represent a big step forward for autonomous vessels in the yachting industry. While the yachting market may be slow to adapt, Avikus advancements could attract an untapped customer base to the industry for the benefit of all.
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