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Autonomous cruising solution developed by Avikus to be exhibited at CES 2022


SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, November 10, 2021

Avikus, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group's newly established subsidiary specializing in autonomous navigation technology, announced that it will participate in the annual Consumer Electronics Show 2022 (CES 2022) to be held in Las Vegas from January 5 to 8, 2022 to exhibit its recent achievement -- an autonomous cruising leisure boat.

Avikus successfully completed the fully autonomous, unmanned operation of a cruise ship with twelve passengers on board at a demonstration event held in June 2021 in Pohang City, South Korea. The ten-kilometer-long Pohang Canal is known for complex and challenging navigational environments, as the average width of the waterway is ten meters, and the inner and outer ports are highly crowded.

Building on this successful demonstration, Avikus is expected to commercialize the world's first self-sailing leisure boats next year. To that end, it will conduct a transoceanic voyage of a large merchant ship relying on autonomous navigation technologies in the first half of the year 2022.

Lim Do-hyeong, CEO of Avikus said, "By applying autonomous navigational technology to leisure boats, users can greatly reduce the time required for berthing and unberthing as well as the risk of accidents during operation."

The ship autonomation is divided into four degrees identified by the International Maritime Organization (IMO): on Degree One ships, some operations may be automated and can at times be unsupervised but with seafarers on board ready to take control. Avikus has already commercialized this Degree One technology and will present the Degree Two autonomous driving boat during CES 2022. Under Degree Two, seafarers are on board and input the destination. And the system makes a route according to which the ship is controlled and operated. The boat can automatically recognize and avoid obstacles and automatically dock at the marina.


Avikus is also focusing on autonomous navigation assistance systems for large merchant ships. It developed a state-of-the-art autonomous navigation technology called HiNAS (Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System). HiNAS automatically recognizes objects surrounding the vessel and the route to identify risk of collision based on augmented reality (AR). HiNAS is equipped with six special cameras and LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), a remote sensory technology that uses the pulse from a laser to collect measurements as adopted by a large number of autonomous vehicles, which have achieved a higher level of autonomous functioning that allows ships, without the help of seafarers, to cope with various unexpected situations, such as adverse weather conditions, strong currents, and appearance of fishing boats. Avikus installed HiNAS for the first time on a large merchant ship in April last year and received an additional 70 orders this year alone.

CEO Lim said, "Deep learning technology is applied to HiNAS, which greatly increases navigational safety because it automatically detects obstacles missed with the existing sensors and prevents collisions. If HiNAS is widely used, we can prevent hundreds of collisions and stranding accidents annually."

Autonomous navigational technology is making considerable changes in the shipbuilding and maritime industries. This is because the logistical costs of shipping are only one-thousandth of that of aircraft, and one-tenth of that of trains. And it is because ships are expected to become a center of logistics in the future. Therefore, self-driving ships will lead to a next-generation logistics revolution in line with changes in land logistics by autonomous delivery trucks and drones.

According to Acute Market Reports, a global market research service provider, the market for autonomous ships and related equipment is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 12.6%, reaching US$235.7 billion by 2028.