SAMSUNG Heavy Industries has completed a demonstration of its autonomous navigation technology on a containership in the South China Sea.

The South Korean shipbuilder said the autonomous voyage was a success. It claims the demonstration was an industry-first for the area connecting South Korea and the South China Sea.

During the voyage, autonomous AIS, radar, camera sensor and sensor fusion technology identified more than 9000 obstacles such as ships and buoys within a 50-kilometre radius.

SHI said the technology suggested a safe detour when it encountered other ships and safe avoidance paths if it faced approaching vessels.

SHI found the route suggestions were accurate, and that more than 90% of routes adopted by the autonomous navigation system were consistent with routes set by an experienced navigator.

Kim Hyun-jo, director of SHI’s autonomous operation research centre, said the shipbuilder aims to be a leader in autonomous operations and smart ship technologies.

“We proved SHI’s advanced autonomous navigation technology with the successful demonstration not only on Jeju Island and Dokdo, but also on global routes.”

The containership used in the demonstration was equipped with smart ship technology including SVESSEL CBM, a remote fault diagnosis system, and SVESSEL eLogbook, an electronic logbook developed by SHI.

SHI expects the technology to help reduce ship operating costs and improve crew efficiency.