ABS and HD Hyundai team up to develop autonomous technology for ships

American Bureau of Shipping ABS and South Korea’s HD Hyundai have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of autonomous technology for ships.

Credit: ABS

The partners are understood to have met at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas to finalize an agreement covering four areas:

  • AI-based autonomous machinery health management function (HiCBM);
  • AI-based autonomous safety management functions (HiCAMS);
  • Autonomous LNG fuel gas supply system based on artificial intelligence (Hi-GAS+ SMART FGSS);
  • Intelligent LNG vaporization gas management system (Hi-GAS+ AI CHS) based on artificial intelligence.

The scope of the MOU builds on the strategic framework agreement previously signed between the two companies at CES 2022.

Under the agreement, ABS is partnering with Avikus, a subsidiary of HD Hyundai, and Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE).

Several notable achievements include a demonstration of technology developed by Avikus that enables the Prism Courage, a 180,000 cubic meter liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, to sail in autonomous mode under direct supervision for approximately half of its transpacific voyage.

Prism Courage departs from Freeport on the Gulf Coast on May 1, 2022, passes through the Panama Canal, and finally arrives at the Boryeong LNG terminal in Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. The trip took 33 days. The LNG carrier covered half of that, or about 20,000 kilometers of the total distance, using autonomous navigation technology.

“The Prism Courage voyage is a milestone for the entire shipping industry, demonstrating the potential of artificial intelligence and autonomous capabilities to contribute to safe navigation at sea,” Say Christopher J WernickeABS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Through this agreement with ABS, we hope to further advance autonomous vessel technology to support autonomous cabin operations and safety management,” Say Zhong QixinPresident and CEO of HD Hyundai.

ABS and HD Hyundai are coordinating a joint development project (JDP) that will begin in the first quarter of 2023.

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