Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) wants to bring crewless, autonomous ships to market next year, in order to put a stop to years of losses due to a price war with Chinese rivals.
According to Nikkei, SHI is already making moves towards that goal, as in October, a 38-meter vessel featuring Samsung Heavy’s autonomous sailing system successfully completed a trial at sea.
Currently, the race to develop “smart” vessels is heating up with, companies in Japan, China and South Korea being responsible for 90% of shipbuilding in the world.
As for the navigation of these vessels, human captains at a control center on land use cameras on the vessel to monitore and operate. In high seas, satellite communication will be used to control the ship.
Autonomous ships can operate with reduced crew, addressing personnel shortages, while they can also reduce voyage times and improve fuel efficiency.
Samsung Heavy has bled red ink for five years through 2019, says Nikkei, and this the main reason why it wants to develop automation technology.
Finally, the autonomous vessel market is projected to grow dramatically to $78.8 billion by 2025, more than 25 times the 2018 level.