Avikus, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group’s subsidiary specializing in autonomous navigation technologies for ships, partners with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to collaborate on real-life trials of autonomous ship technologies.
Avikus signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ABS on January 9, 2022, in Las Vegas, where the world’s largest tech show, CES 2022, is taking place, to secure the Approval in Principle (AIP) for the application of autonomous ship technologies.
Kisun Chung, President, and CEO of Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings and Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE), Do-hyeong Lim, CEO of Avikus, and John McDonald is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ABS, attended the signing ceremony.
ABS is a maritime classification society that identifies technological suitability and selects relevant criteria for cutting-edge maritime technology and offshore structures while promoting stable maritime industry development as a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS).
Following the signing of the MOU, Avikus will begin stage-by-stage demonstration tests for its various solutions, which include the Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System (HiNAS), Hyundai Intelligence Berthing Assistance System (HiBAS), and Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System 2.0 (HiNAS2.0), in accordance with the ABS Guide for Autonomous and Remote Control Functions, which will be published in July 2021.
Avikus will be able to receive each certificate for its autonomous vessel technologies for each stage of the tests, while ABS will examine the design, control testing processes, and validate the implementation for each stage based on Avikus’ actual operating data. The cooperative efforts of the two firms will be a key step in making maritime autonomous operations a practical reality, based on trials of the autonomous technology in real-world situations. Lessons learned from this partnership will also aid in the creation and refinement of autonomous technology and operations standards and regulations.
Following the successful demonstration of full autonomous cruising as the first in Korea in June 2021, Avikus wants to collaborate with ABS to demonstrate autonomous shipping technology for a transoceanic voyage of a large-scale commercial vessel presently in production.
The autonomous vessel and related material and equipment markets are predicted to increase by 12.6 percent annually, reaching USD 235.7 billion in market size by 2028, according to Acute Market Reports, a global market research business.
“The agreement with ABS holds a great significance as it promotes the technology standardization through the stage-by-stage certification of Avikus’ proprietary technologies. With these commitments, we will contribute to expanding the autonomous vessel market and proactively preoccupy the related markets,” Avikus CEO Lim said
“Autonomous vessels will have a significant role to play in the future of maritime transportation but they will need to be at least as safe as existing vessels. It will take extensive research and development activity, teamwork, and sharing of expertise among the leading maritime players to get us there. That’s why this agreement is a game-changer, as it unites ABS’ insight with HHI’s expertise to develop practical applications of the technology,” said John McDonald, ABS Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer.
Avikus introduced a leisure boat equipped with the full autonomous navigation technology at CES 2022 and presented a future vision of the maritime mobility sector centering on autonomous vessel technology through simulated navigation applying the virtual reality technology.