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New Technology Qualification of Autonomous Navigation System from Korean Register for the First Time in the World

June 7th, 2023

The class society said the successful completion of the system integration stage, the third stage of the NTQ process, solidifies HiNAS Control’s capabilities as an innovative AI-based autonomous navigation system.

HiNAS was developed by HHI’s subsidiaries, the autonomous navigation division Avikus and HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE). HiNAS uses augmented reality technology by combining data collected from vessel sensors and sailing equipment and allowing the ship to navigate optimal routes, maintain ideal speeds and avoid collisions. 

The autonomous navigation system can enhance safety during navigation, improve fuel efficiency and ease the operational workload for bridge teams. 

Earlier this year, Korean Register awarded HHI Group an approval in principal for HiNAS 2.0, confirming the system’s safety and feasibility. Now, the class society said the technical qualification was conducted in accordance with its guidelines for new technology qualification to evaluate new maritime technology.

The NTQ process comprises four stages: feasibility and concept verification, prototype validation, system integration and operational assessment. KR’s review of classification rules and international regulations confirmed HiNAS’ performance and an NTQ statement was issued following risk assessment and technical evaluation.

The certificate was awarded 7 June at the Nor-Shipping industry exhibition in Oslo and represents another step towards commercialising HiNAS.

HD KSOE executive vice president and head of digital research lab, Kwon Byounghun said, “This new technology evaluation is a great example of HD Hyundai Group’s leading autonomous navigation technology. Through this NTQ process, we were able to confirm the stability and performance of the system through sufficient technical verification in various scenarios using the virtual test drive system at our Digital Convergence Centre.”

KR chief executive and chairman Lee Hyung-chul, added “We are proud to have successfully verified the high-level performance of an AI-based autonomous navigation system through the first NTQ process under the newly established guidelines for new technology qualification. We will continue to provide more substantial and active technical support for the commercialisation of autonomous ships as a future technology.” 

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Detection, Then Action


4 Degrees of Ship Automation

Now, we research and develop and commercialize degree 1 & 2 autonomous navigation solutions (Assistant system).

In addition to this, we continue to research and develop degree 3&4 solutions (Autonomous system).


Like autonomous car, according to IMO, autonomous ship divides into 4 degrees.

  • Watch/Monitoring
  • Control/Operation
  • Driver responsibility
  • System Control/Driver responsibility
  • System responsibility
Assistant system
  • icon

    Ship with automated processes and decision support

  • icon

    Remotely controlled ship with seafarers on board

Autonomous system
  • Degree 3 icon

    Remotely controlled ship without seafarers on board

  • Degree 4 icon

    Fully autonomous ship


At a Glance

Korea is a well-respected shipbuilding powerhouse.

However, to maintain this great reputation, it is essential to lead the technology in the field of autonomous operation, which will be the core technology for the next-generation shipping industry.

If you settle for the current level of technology and situation, you will never discover a new ocean.

The development and commercialization of autonomous driving technology in vehicles are already underway.

In contrast, the level of commercialization of autonomous navigation technology is still very low, and there hasn’t been a global case of commercialization yet.

Korea has the advantages for autonomous navigation technology development, as we are the best in the world for shipbuilding and ICT infrastructure.

Therefore, Avikus' goal is not to settle for the current technology but to develop and commercialize technologies for the future to be the pioneer of the future shipping industry.

We succeeded in commercializing HiNAS(Hyundai intelligent Navigation Assistant System) for the first time in the world and will be a 'Maritime Autonomous Pioneer' that leads the commercialization of autonomous navigation solutions for all ships from large commercial vessels to leisure boats based on the largest number of commercialization cases and data of ours.

NAS Control

Ongoing Projects


World's 1st Atonomous Large Merchant Vessel Trans Oceanic Voyage

Autonomous LNG Carrier
Trans-Ocean Project

NAS Control console for navigation control
HIL Simulator

We installed NAS Control on a large LNG carrier built by HD HYUNDAI and planned to demonstrate its autonomous navigation across the ocean for the first time in the world.