Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) intends to test an autonomous containership in the Pacific Ocean in 2019.
The ship would sail from Japan to North America with a crew on standby, Hideyuki Ando, a senior general manager at Monohakobi Technology Institute, part of NYK, told Bloomberg.
The boxship, the size of which has not been specified yet, would be remotely controlled.
NYK joins a myriad of companies that have been venturing into autonomous technology for ships.
As disclosed in an interview with World Maritime News, Rolls-Royce envisages a remotely operated vessel in local waters as the first stage and in operation by 2020.
By 2030, remotely operated ships are expected to become a common sight on the ocean.
According to a report published by insurance company Allianz in 2012, between 75 and 96 percent of marine accidents are a result of human error, equivalent to USD 1.6 billion. This is often as a result of fatigue.
Remotely controlled and autonomous ships are expected to reduce the risk of injury and even death amongst ship’s crews and the potential loss or damage of valuable assets.
World Maritime News Staff