The company, along with MOL Marine; the National Maritime Research Institute of National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology; and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, have signed a contract to conduct a joint study on collision avoidance algorithms and autonomous collision avoidance.

Under the agreement, members will study collision avoidance algorithms and autonomous navigation/remote ship operation system.

The system will be assessed by active watch officers using a ship handling simulator and actual vessels, in preparation for installing on in-service vessels.

The project partners will use AI technology, such as rule-based AI and deep reinforcement learning technique, and Obstacle Zone by Target (OZT) algorithm, to make a decision to avoid collision dangers and to take actions to avoid the target ships.

MOL has been already categorized its research on navigation support systems related to “recognition” such as “AR Navigation Information Display System” as its “FOCUS EYE” series.

The “FOCUS BRAIN” series seeks to categorize navigation support systems related to “decision making,” such as the collision avoidance, as part of MOL's efforts to accelerate its programs to advance safe operation and to realize autonomous vessels.

MOL has focused on safe operation and reduction of its environmental impact, in line with its Smart Ship Project “ISHIN NEXT”, which began in November 2016.

Last year, MOL teamed up with MOL Techno-Trade, National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, and Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology to develop an advanced navigation support system.