A PROJECT that aims for the full commercialisation of autonomous ship technology by 2025 is moving into its second stage.

Three NYK Group companies – NYK, Japan Marine Science and MTI – will participate in the Joint Technological Development Program for the Demonstration of Fully Autonomous Ships under the Nippon Foundation’s MEGURI 2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Project.

All three NYK Group companies are members of the Designing the Future of Fully Autonomous Ships Plus consortium, which comprises 51 companies based in Japan.

According to a statement from NYK, this program is positioned as the second stage of MEGURI2040, which started in 2020 and aims for full-scale commercialisation of fully autonomous ship technology by 2025, which was developed in the first stage.

In addition to designing ships that will support the Japanese coastal shipping industry in the future, NYK said a demonstration of ship-land operations would be conducted to simulate the future coastal shipping industry that will be supported by fully autonomous ships.

The demonstration is to use four different types of ships (a newly built full package container ship; with a fully autonomous navigation function, an existing container ship, a ro-ro cargo ship and a remote island route ship; with some autonomous navigation function) and two fleet operation centres.