China's first autonomous cargo ship completed its
maiden voyage after a grand inaugural ceremony in the Zhuhai Special
Economic Zone of Guangdong province on Sunday, playing an important role
in the country's efforts to speed up the planning and development of
its intelligent shipping industry.
The ship, M/V Jindouyun 0 Hao, has attracted wide attention from the
industry at home and abroad as it has realized independent tracking,
collision avoidance and remote control berthing and unberthing of
independent cargo ships.
Yan Xinping, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering,
said the ship has established an important platform to promote the
technological progress and industrial development of intelligent ships.
"The successful voyage of the autonomous cargo ship has officially
opened the exploration and practice of independent navigation and
promotes the development process of the intelligent shipping industry,"
Yan said at the launch ceremony held in Zhuhai's Dongao island.
Cai Yuliang, director of science and technology innovation and test
center of China Classification Society, also praised the ship's success.
CCS provides services to ships, offshore installation and related
industrial products by furnishing world-leading technical rules and
"The successful voyage of Jindouyun 0 Hao is of great pioneering
significance for the research and development, testing and setting of
standards for independent navigation technology," he said.
The ceremony was attended by more than 70 academicians, professors,
experts, scholars and government officials from the mainland as well as
the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.
A breakthrough in ship design and construction can be achieved by
reducing the number of pilots until autonomous navigation is realized,
"Under the same load capacity, builders can save more than 20 percent
on construction costs and 20 percent on operation costs, reduce fuel
consumption by 15 percent and significantly reduce emissions," he said.
The ship is 12.86 meters long and 3.8 meters wide. It has a draft of 1 meter and is designed to travel at 8 knots.
The China Classification Society, Wuhan University of Technology,
Zhuhai city government and Yunzhou-Tech, a tech company based in Zhuhai,
jointly launched the autonomous cargo ship project during an
international maritime show in Shanghai in December 2017. The ship was
completed and delivered for use in Zhuhai last month.
Zhang Yunfei, chairman of Yunzhou-Tech, said Jindouyun 0 Hao would
actively explore the commercial application of self-navigating ships in
the fields of transportation supply and ocean shipping and further
expand in-depth cooperation with the China Classification Society,
maritime, navigation support and related departments and units to
explore the establishment of standards for autonomous navigation ships
and promote the rapid development of China's intelligent ship industry
in the years ahead.