NYK has conducted the world’s first maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) trial in accordance with the IMO guidelines, making a big step toward realizing its target of manned autonomous ships for safer operations and reducing crew workload. The Iris Leader, an NYK-operated vehicle carrier was navigated day and night using the Sherpa System for Real ship (SSR) navigation system. The trial was conducted during the ship’s voyage from Xinsha, China, to the port of Nagoya, and from the port of Nagoya to the port of Yokohama.
The SSR’s performance in actual sea conditions was monitored as the system collected information on environmental conditions around the ship from existing navigational devices. NYK now plans to analyze the data and continue to develop the SSR into a more advanced navigation-support system by making adjustments to the difference between the optimal course derived by the program and that determined by professional human judgment. The SSR verified by this trial would also be applied to future coastal ships, which currently face serious crew shortages, according to the company.
Year built: 2015
Vessel Type: Vehicle Carrier
Capacity: 7,125 verhicles
Shipbuilder: Imarbari Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
Length: 199.99 / 34 m
Gross Tonnage: 70826
Net Tonnage: 23,217