Autonomous Boats Are on The Rise
SEOUL, KOREA— Hyundai Heavy Industries Group announced on Jan. 6, in conjunction with KT Corporation, they have created its first fully autonomous navigation system for sailing a pleasure craft. The technology was tested through a narrow and winding canal in South Korea. The test trial demonstrated by a 12-seat pleasure craft showed the combined technologies that are under development for shipbuilders. It is expected to be commercialized some time in 2022, first for pleasure crafts until the technology can be expanded to cargo ships and other large vessels. Hyundai is planning for the world’s first transoceanic voyage of a large merchant ship that will rely solely on autonomous navigation technology. They also plan to show the first demonstration of the technology on a commercial vessel as early as 2022.
One software used in the technologies is the Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System (HiNAS) which automatically recognizes objects surrounding the vessel and route to alert the risk of collision based on augmented reality (AR). The vessel was outfitted with a range of systems being developed by Avikus, a sub-business unit of Hyundai’s launched in 2020 to focus on autonomous navigation systems. By using special cameras and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a remote sensing technology that uses the pulse from a laser to collect measurements manages the autonomous operations of the vessel. The group said it also plans to commercialize smart construction robots and related platform services by 2025 with the goal of realizing unmanned construction sites.