Commencing the journey from the Gulf of Mexico and ending up at the Boryeong LNG terminal in South Korea, this autonomous cargo ship has finally achieved its maiden transoceanic journey. The whole trip is administered through the sophisticated use of artificial intelligence, which has supervised the ship throughout the journey and assisted in navigation as well. It has been reported that this AI-built technology in the ship has saved it from colliding with almost 100 other ships during the cruise. This is incredible as the probability of human error has also been considerably reduced through the use of this technology in cargo ships.
While talking about the specific details of this automation and about its areas of applications, Captain Young-hoon Koh of the Prism Courage said, “This state-of-the-art technology is used for maintaining navigating routes, autonomously changing directions, and avoiding nearby ships, which all increase ship crews’ work conveniences.” Just like the navigational equipment installed on an aircraft that assists in route navigation, this autonomous ship carries the same purpose while also reducing the workload on the captain through mechanization.
The ship topped around 20,000 km on June 2 and that took around 33 days, as reported by the company named “Avikus”, which is a small division of HD Hyundai. The ship is around 180,000 square meters, known as “Prism Courage,” registered in Panama, and has passed through the Panama Canal, then sailed across the Pacific Ocean, and finally comes to rest in South Korea.
Moreover, due to the integrated technology, the journey also proves sustainable for the environment as it has increased the fuel efficiency by up to 7%, thereby reducing the greenhouse gas emissions by up to 5% and hence, lessening the impact of the carbon footprint on the environment as well. The Avikus CEO, Do-hyeong Lim, stated, “It is meaningful that we have successfully tested the Level 2 system to operate a vessel beyond the Level 1 technology, providing optimal routes. We will lead innovation by upgrading autonomous navigation solutions not only for large merchant ships but also for small leisure boats.”
Thus, following in its footsteps, a Norwegian company is now intending to introduce a ship that is fully autonomous, i.e., doesn’t require any cargo staff or crew to operate it. The company has plans to come up with this at the end of this year. The ship is expected to cover the route from Heroya to Brevik.