(CTN News) – A 749-ton autonomous vessel successfully completed a 40-hour journey without human assistance. As the world’s first autonomous commercial cargo ship, it was equipped with Orca AI’s technology, which enabled it to sail through the congested waters of Tokyo Bay. The vessel was able to avoid hundreds of collisions and complete 99% of its journey alone, Electrek reported.
What is Orca AI?
Orca AI, based in Israel, specializes in developing software for maritime vessels. Our mission to reduce human-caused errors by using intelligent automated vessels ensures safety in waterways and deep waters, the company explains. By providing a real-time view of the environment, it claims to reduce human-caused errors. In 2018, two naval experts founded Orca AI to develop autonomous ships.
The ship conducted 107 manoeuvres to dodge around 500 vessels
Orca AI’s technology combined sensors with existing safety systems onboard the vessel to improve the vessel’s ability to navigate through congested waterways. The trial run for the vessel named Suzaka began at the port of Tokyo Bay and ended at the port of Tsumatsusaka in the Ise Bay. This is considered one of the most congested waterways, and the ship covered a distance of 790 km.
During Suzaka’s autonomous trial run, it avoided between 400 and 500 vessels on the water by performing 107 collision avoidance maneuvers. This was possible because the AI technology onboard the ship provided a 360-degree view using 18 cameras. During the voyage, these cameras provided real-time detection, tracking, classification, and range estimation.
Announcing the world’s first commercial autonomous voyage, Yarden Gross, co-founder and CEO of Orca AI, said in a statement, as reported by Elecktra, “We expect big shipping companies to implement advanced AI and computer vision technologies to materialise the autonomous shipping vision”.