NYK and its group companies MTI and Japan Maritime Science have received approval in principle (AiP) for a fully autonomous ship framework that is currently being developed under the name of “APExS-auto.”
lassNK and Bureau Veritas reviewed the safety of the framework and certified the concept design on March 1. This was the first time for a fully autonomous ship framework to be approved in Japan.
In this initiative, APExS-auto was developed as an expansion of the crewed autonomous ship framework into the fully autonomous ship framework. In fact, APExS-auto contributed significantly to the success of the fully autonomous ship demonstration conducted by the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship consortium (DFFAS) consortium from February 26 to March 1.
APExS is an acronym for “Action Planning and Execution System for Full Autonomous.” This framework for the realization of a crewed-autonomous ship includes high-speed computer-based information processing technology and risk analyses that support crew members’ situational awareness and the decision-making necessary for maneuvering. In fact, the computer will execute maneuvering operations only after receiving crew’s approval.
APExS-auto positions the computer as an active supporter of the crew and gives the functions more sophistication.
In developing APExS-auto, the NYK Group adopted a development method called model-based design. Model-based design expresses a complicated idea with a model, designs the model by determining its hierarchy, and repeats model simulations to advance development and verification in parallel.
Compared to the conventional method of creating technical ideas, elements, and specifications first and then verifying them, we have achieved significant efficiency by minimizing development rework
The NYK Group will now continue to make full use of APExS-auto to develop autonomous ship technology that contributes to advancing safe operations by further deepening cooperation and collaboration with domestic and overseas partners.