Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that its joint project with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. on developing a technological concept for autonomous ocean transport system, was selected by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) for its FY2017 Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program* on May 16, 2017.
The research consortium of the project is comprised of MOL, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding, the National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), Japan Ship Technology Research Association, and Akishima Laboratories (Mitsui Zosen) Inc.
The consortium members will develop the technological concept for autonomous vessels, drawing upon the strengths of each participating company and organization, setting a course toward development of the technology needed to realize autonomous vessels that can provide reliable, safe, and efficient ocean transport.
In addition to promoting technology for autonomous ocean transport systems, the project will foster a movement to develop the required infrastructure and win public support for implementation of these advanced technologies by sharing the results with society and the maritime industry as the research progresses.
The project will also examine ties to R&D on business concepts, systems, infrastructure, and societal implementation related to autonomous ocean transport, which is being planned by the Japan Ship Technology Research Association.
*The Transportation Research and Technology Promotion Program is a competitive research funding scheme aimed at discovering superior research and development seeds that will solve issues in the traffic and transportation field, by broadly calling for research projects from researchers including those in the private sector. Every fiscal year, the program seeks out research projects on R&D themes that contribute to solutions for critical issues in the traffic and transportation field. Some excellent R&D projects are selected from among the proposals, and earn the backing of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. In fiscal 2017, the public advertising campaign for new research issues was held from February 7 to March 21, 2017. A total of four projects were selected, including this one.