Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced that its joint project with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding on developing a technological concept for autonomous ocean transport system, was selected by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) for its FY2017 Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program, on May 16, 2017.
The research consortium of the project is comprised of MOL, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), Japan Ship Technology Research Association, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc.
The consortium members will develop the technological concept for autonomous vessels, in order to set a course toward development of the technology needed to realize autonomous vessels that will be able to provide reliable, safe, and efficient ocean transport.
In addition to promoting technology for autonomous ocean transport systems, the project aims to foster a movement to develop the required infrastructure and win public support, for implementation of these advanced technologies, by sharing the results with society and the maritime industry as the research progresses.
The project will also examine ties to R&D on business concepts, systems, infrastructure, and societal implementation related to autonomous ocean transport, which is being planned by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association.
The Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program is a competitive research funding scheme, aimed at discovering research and development seeds to solve issues in the traffic and transportation field, by broadly calling for research projects from researchers including those in the private sector.