ClassNK, a classification society, reviewed the safety of the framework and certified the concept design, the first time an autonomous ship framework to be approved in Japan.
Based on this, NYK will further deepen its cooperation with domestic and overseas partners for the development of autonomous ship technology.
It is said that about 80 per cent of marine accidents are caused by human error, particularly insufficient watch-keeping and errors in ship maneuvering. In the past, NYK has worked to reduce these types of incidents through safety management systems (SMS).
However, progress with computer technology has made it possible to further improve safety by combining the strengths of human experience with the attributes of computers, said the company statement.
"In this regard, we have developed a new operational system that achieves a high level of safe operation and assists vessel operators by making use of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) technology, an R&D project conducted with domestic and overseas partners," it said.
"APExS is an acronym for "Action Planning and Execution System." This framework for the realisation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) includes high-speed computer-based information processing technology and risk analyses that support crew members' situational awareness and the decision-making necessary for maneuvering. In fact, the computer will execute maneuvering operations under the crew's approval," said NYK.