SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) — A unit of HD Hyundai, formerly known as Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings, has made the world’s first transoceanic voyage by a large merchant ship based on its autonomous navigation technology, announced this Friday the company.
Avikus, a wholly owned unit of the South Korean shipbuilder, has successfully tested its own Level 2 autonomous navigation solution called HiNAS 2.0 on a 180,000 square meter liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, said HD Hyundai in a press release.
The LNG vessel, named Prism Courage, covered half of the nearly 20,000 kilometer month-long journey from Freeport on the southern Gulf Coast to the Boryeong LNG terminal in South Korea using the HiNAS system. 2.0, he said.
The LNG vessel is operated by SK Shipping Co., a subsidiary of construction chemicals conglomerate SK Group.
“It is significant that we have successfully tested the Tier 2 system to operate a vessel beyond Tier 1 technology delivering optimal routes. We will lead innovation by upgrading autonomous navigation solutions not only to large merchant ships, but also for small pleasure craft,” Avikus said. CEO Lim Do-hyeong said in the statement.
The LNG vessel is not an unmanned vessel, but there were no interruptions by crew members during the 10,000 kilometer autonomous navigation, the company said.
The market for autonomous navigation vessels and related equipment is expected to grow at an average rate of 12.6% per year to reach $235.7 billion in 2028, according to global market research firm Acute Market Reports.
HD Hyundai has Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE) as a sub-holding under its wing. KSOE has three main subsidiaries: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co.