Japanese shipping company MOL and electronics firm Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. made a joint presentation of their advanced augmented reality (AR)-based Navigation System. The system provides visual support to crew members during their watch-keeping and ship operations by using AR technology to superimpose real-time video imagery and voyage information.
As explained, large tankers, which have a deep draft, require very careful ship operations in waters such as the Strait of Malacca, a highly congested shipping lane. If a collision or grounding occurred, it could lead to an oil spill and serious environmental disaster.
AR Navigation System can display combined real-time video images and vehicle course information from nautical instruments on a display in the bridge even in congested sea lanes.
Since it allows mariners, at a glance, to ensure that they are on a safe course, alerts them to nearby vessels that could pose a risk, shallow sea areas, and other potential hazards.
MOL said it will continue to work closely with Furuno to study further upgrades to the system, with the goal of ensuring that the AR Navigation System will contribute to marine traffic safety through “the eyes of the captains and officers” who actually use the system onboard, and offer encouraging support to users.
The presentation took place to tanker industry representatives at the ENOC Marine Conference and OCIMF Middle East Regional Marine Forum in Dubai in September.
The company has expressed commitment to advanced support of safe operation and reduction of its environmental impact through the “ISHIN Next – MOL smart ship project,” which began in November 2016.
In this context, MOL continually introduces ICT technologies including the AR Navigation System.
Earlier in October, MOL launched a joint study with Oki Electric Industry (OKI) on the use of OKI’s bird’s-eye view monitoring system to monitor a 360° field of view around a tugboat. The system was installed on the tugboat Asaka Maru and a preliminary experiment was conducted.