TOKYO -- Mitsui O.S.K. Lines plans to install automatic collision-avoidance systems on its vessels, using artificial intelligence to assess danger and maneuver ships to safety, as part of a larger push to improve shipping with information and communications technology.
The Tokyo-based shipping company will test such systems on new ships to be completed by 2022 and evaluate the results of the tests each year. Further in the future, it plans to couple this technology with other systems such as for pilotless docking and launching, toward a goal of autonomous sailing.
Mitsui O.S.K. has established a "smart shipping office" geared toward improving the safety and efficiency of shipping with information technology, such as internet-connected devices -- commonly called the internet of things -- and AI.
The company builds 10 to 20 new ships per year, and plans to begin loading them with new technologies one at a time on a trial basis, testing new safety or environmental-conservation features. The planned collision-avoidance system is one link in this chain. Mitsui O.S.K. is also considering using IoT-based technology to remotely diagnose signs of engine failure, and assist crews via wearable devices.