Today, after receiving swarms of awards this year for an innovative edge, NYK Line announced the release of a documentary on YouTube showcasing the DFFAS (Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship) coalition’s 1.5-year quest to build a self-driving ship.
Motivated by the fact that 70-80 percent of maritime accidents happen due to human error and crew shortages, the DFFAS consortium successfully ran a trial from February 26 to March 1. The test replicated the fundamental operation of a completely autonomous ship. The trial covered a distance of around 790 kilometers between Tokyo Bay and Ise Bay. The route went through what many considered Maritime’s most congested areas and was able to navigate successfully.
Overseen by The Nippon Foundation, Under the autonomous ship project “MEGURI 2040,” the consortium seems to be taking part in what many consider the Joint Technological Development Programme for the Demonstration of Fully Autonomous Ships.
NYK was one of the many Japanese companies aiding the DFFA in finding and understanding an autonomous ship. The DFFAS project consists of thirty Japanese businesses, including those from the NYK and NYK Group, Japan Marine Science Inc., MTI Co., Ltd., and Kinkai Yusen Kaisha Ltd., and has conceived several verifications on the social implementation of a fully autonomous ship.
The video has two versions, with one being eight minutes versus the ‘full version’ being fifty-four. The videos house the difficulties the DFFAS consortium was forced to overcome through first-hand interviews with the scientists working at finding a solution.