April 11, 2019
New Partnership to Push the Boundaries of Autonomous Technology

Lloyd’s Register (LR), ST Engineering Electronics Ltd. (STEE) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd (Mitsui) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the "Development of Ocean-going Autonomous Navigation System on a Marine Asset".

The MoU forms the foundation of the MPA-funded "World’s Largest Ocean-Going Autonomous Vessel Programme". 

Towards Deployment of Autonomous Navigation Systems 

Andy McKeran, LR Commercial Director Marine & Offshore, said: '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.'

Robust Use Cases

'Increasing interest in maritime autonomy and remote access/control technologies is a specific example of larger technological changes we are currently seeing in the maritime industry. Essential to the successful and safe adoption of these technologies is that robust use cases are established, for example to improve navigational safety, supply chain efficiency or operational costs of marine assets. 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.'

Working to Scale

He continued, 'Working with STEE [a leading Information Communications Technologies (ICT) provider and co-creater of Smart City Solutions], 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. [...] 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.'