Japanese operator Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is enhancing navigation safety onboard its newbuilding VLCC Suzukasan using augmented reality (AR) following an earlier trial on another MOL vessel.
In this latest project, information, such as other ships sailing around the vessel and landmarks like buoys at sea, can be shown on tablets and other displays, based on data from the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Images of landscapes taken from the bridge can also be shown on the same tablets, and these images will overlap with AR to provide visual support to crewmembers operating ships and keeping watch during voyages.
The AR display screen used in this project was upgraded based on feedback of an initial trial that started in March of this year using a next-generation FLEXIE car carrier, the Beluga Ace. The screen allows the officer on watch to check important voyage information such as the speed of other vessels, the closest approach time, and the closest approach distance at a glance. An experimental version of this upgraded system will be installed aboard the Suzukasan to continue demonstration tests aimed at verifying the performance of the AR display screen. The system, which supports ship operation and watch-keeping, will be installed on additional vessels in succession.