Classification society ABS and South Korean chaebol, HD Hyundai, have agreed to expand joint efforts to extend autonomous navigation technology into critical vessel machinery and safety systems. In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the two parties agreed to focus on four key areas:
The MoU extends cooperation already established in a Strategic Framework Agreement and signed at CES in 2022. Under that initiative, ABS worked with two Hyundai subsidiaries – Avikus and Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering. One notable achievement was the demonstration of Avikus technology enabling the 180,000m3 LNG carrier, Prism Courage, to operate autonomously but under direct supervision for about half of a trans-Pacific voyage.
Hailing the Prism Courage project as a milestone for the entire shipping industry, ABS chairman, president and CEO, Christopher J. Wiernicki, commented on the new agreement. “This is an exciting time for innovation and technology breakthroughs in maritime,” he said, “and we are looking forward to continuing to evolve industry solutions with HD Hyundai to drive more efficient operation and advances in safety, addressing the challenges of today and those in the future.”
HD Hyundai president and CEO, Ki-sun Chung, declared: “HD Hyundai is one of the most advanced companies in developing and commercialising autonomous navigation technology. We are excited to expand our work with ABS, a leader in the industry supporting autonomous projects. Through this agreement with ABS, we expect to further advance autonomous vessel technology that will support autonomous engine room operations as well as safety management.”
The partners plan to initiate joint development projects that will start in the first quarter of this year.
ABS and Hyundai extend collaboration at Las Vegas meeting