ClassNK reviewed the safety of the framework and certified the concept design on February 20, 2020 the first time for an autonomous ship framework to be approved in Japan.

Based on this framework, NYK will further deepen its cooperation with domestic and overseas partners for the development of autonomous ship technology that contributes to advanced safe operation.

NYK has developed a new operational system that achieves a high level of safe operation and assists vessel operators by making use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) technology, an R&D project conducted with domestic and overseas partners.

Specifically, APExS is an acronym for “Action Planning and Execution System.” This framework for the realization of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) includes high-speed computer-based information processing technology and risk analyses that support crew members' situational awareness and the decision-making necessary for maneuvering. The computer will execute maneuvering operations under the crew's approval.

Regarding communication concerns between humans and computers, risk can be mitigated to an acceptable level and human error significantly diminished through proper design, procedures, and training.

NYK will use this framework in the future to realize a manned autonomous ship by working together with partners on a common understanding of the ideal manned autonomous vessel.

BRM (Bridge Resource Management) aims to minimize human errors by enhancing communication and cooperation among crews, and the use of all available information from navigation instrument that can be used for to improve situation awareness, and decision making within the bridge.