HD Hyundai’s Avikus becomes the world’s first to make transoceanic voyage using its autonomous navigation technology


Avikus, a subsidiary of HD Hyundai (former Hyundai Heavy Industries Group), has successfully carried out autonomous navigation of a large ship across the ocean, becoming the first company in the world to accomplish such a feat.

Together with SK Shipping, Avikus, which specializes in autonomous navigation, announced that it had successfully completed autonomous navigation of PRISM COURAGE,” a 180,000 square-meter ultra-large LNG carrier, equipped with HiNAS 2.0, Avikus’ Level 2 autonomous navigation solution.

The PRISM COURAGE departed from the Freeport on the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico on May 1, passed through the Panama Canal, and finally arrived at the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Chungcheong Province in Korea after 33 days. The vessel sailed half of roughly 20,000 kilometers in total distance.

HiNAS 2.0 creates optimal routes and speeds based on Hyundai Global Service’s Integrated Smartship Solution. Its artificial intelligence recognizes the surrounding environment – weather and wave heights – and nearby ships, and then controls the vessel’s steering commands in real-time. The Level 2 technology can control and operate the ship in addition to the functions of recognition and judgment.

In this test crossing, the PRISM COURAGE equipped with HiNAS 2.0 was operated autonomously on the optimal routes, increasing the fuel efficiency by around 7 percent while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 5 percent. Also, the system accurately recognized the locations of nearby ships to avoid collision about 100 times.

This voyage was conducted under real-time monitoring of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Korea Register of Shipping to verify the performance and stability of the technology. Avikus plans to commercialize HiNAS 2.0 within this year after receiving a certification from ABS for the results of this self-propelled ocean crossing.

Autonomous navigation technology is drawing attention as an innovative technology for future maritime mobility, solving workforce shortages in the maritime transportation industry, reduce pollutants, and improve safety by completely removing the possibility of human errors.

Avikus CEO Do-hyeong Lim said, “It is meaningful to we successfully tested the Level 2 system. We will lead innovation by upgrading autonomous navigation solutions not only for large merchant ships but also for small leisure boats.”