Samsung conducts 500-mile test of autonomous navigation technology

Demonstration of autonomous navigation
Mokpo Maritime University’s training ship sailed over 500 nm and demonstrated Samsung’s autonomous navigation system (Mokpo)

Published 11/24/2022 15:21 by

The Maritime Executive

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries completed a successful demonstration of its autonomous navigation technology with a 9,000-ton university training ship that sailed over 500 nautical miles in Korean waters. The trial came just days after rival shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering also used a small boat to test its autonomous navigation system in coastal waters. The Korean government and the shipbuilding industry are making the development of the technology a high priority in their efforts to develop a new generation of high-quality ships.


“The success of this demonstration is a significant achievement that has validated the performance and operational stability of SAS in truly complex maritime situations,” said Kim Hyeon-jo, head of Samsung Heavy Industries Ship & Marine Research Center. “As a technological pioneer, we live up to our role and responsibility in the development of security laws and systems and technological innovation.”


Samsung reports that its Samsung Autonomous Ship (SAS) system has been deployed aboard Mokpo Maritime University’s large training ship with special permission from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. That Segero is a 436 foot long ship built in 2018 for the university. It can accommodate 239 people and offers a wide range of training opportunities.


The demonstration began on November 15 and was conducted over four days from the southern city of Mokpo. Covering a total of 512 nautical miles, the training vessel traveled to Ieodo, a submerged rock formation nearly 100 miles offshore, and Jeju Island in the South Seas (East China Sea), and then headed east to Dodo in the Baltic Sea (Chinese Sea). Japan) to test and verify the operation of the autonomous navigation system.




Segero Bridge during the Autonomous Navigation Demonstration (SHI)



That Segero Equipped with Samsung Heavy Industries’ autonomous long-distance navigation system, it managed to safely avoid 29 collision risk situations that occur during autonomous navigation with other ships. The shipyard points out that it encountered a particularly challenging area when passing near Ieodo, where sea fishing is active. The system recognized in real time a complex collision situation with several fishing boats approaching simultaneously from the bow and starboard sides. The SAS system recalculated and recreated an accurate and safe backup route every five seconds.


The SAS system incorporates radar information, AIS system data and camera images to develop its situational awareness. It also integrates ICT technologies, including 360-degree surveillance. The system automates engine and rudder controls for collision avoidance.


Samsung reports that it was the first company to receive approval from the Department of Oceans and Fisheries to demonstrate autonomous navigation systems in this environment. According to the company, there are currently no safety regulations that allow the operation of autonomous ships at sea. In collaboration with Mokpo and the Korean Register, they developed operational guidelines. This included a risk assessment, identification of risk factors and development of a risk management plan, which was reviewed and approved by the ministry.


South Korea’s shipbuilders are working to develop the new systems that will integrate artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, big data and sensors to create systems capable of powering the next generation of ships. Hyundai conducted a test during a Pacific Crossing with a gas tanker during DSME conducted a test last week with a small boat along the coast near Seoul. DSME plans to test its system on a larger ship in 2023, while aiming to have the system commercially available by 2025. Hyundai is progressing with its first version of its technology and plans to introduce it to recreational boats in 2023.

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