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Hyundai Heavy to operate world's 1st autonomous ship in Q1

All News 11:33 January 06, 2022

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, the world's biggest shipbuilder by sales, said Thursday it will operate the world's first autonomous ship in the first quarter as it strives to secure new growth drivers.

Hyundai Heavy introduced autonomous navigation technologies that will significantly help reduce the possibility of marine accidents, and change maritime logistics and marine resource development.

"We are planning to have the world's first self-driving, massive-scale transoceanic voyage within the first quarter. Our mission is to enable fully autonomous navigation to create the safest and most intelligent ships," Avikus engineer Joo Hyo-gyeong said in a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Avikus is the autonomous navigation system development unit of the Ulsan, South Korea-based shipbuilder.

But the autonomous navigation technology has an extra mile to go before port-to-port services.

In this photo taken Jan. 5, 2021, during a press conference at CES 2022, Chung Ki-sun, CEO of Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co., introduces the company's vision to become a "future builder" based on three core technologies. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The self-navigating technology is one of the three core technologies sought by the shipbuilding-to-energy conglomerate, together with liquid hydrogen transport and propulsion system technology, and intelligent robotics and solution technology.

"In the next 50 years, we will become the world's best 'future builder' and create new growth that is more sustainable, smarter and more inclusive, something we have never seen before," Chung Ki-sun, chief executive officer of Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings Co. said in the conference.

As for the second hydrogen technology, the company explained the maritime hydrogen value chain as a solution to climate change.

"The hydrogen production technology and liquid hydrogen carrier as core technologies will increase the possibilities of the marine hydrogen business," Kim Sung-joon, head of Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE), said.

The group plans to build a 100 megawatt hydrogen production plant and develop the world's first 20,000 cubic meter hydrogen carrier by 2025, he said.

KSOE is the group's subholding company and has three affiliates -- Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. -- under its wing.

The group said it also plans to commercialize smart construction robots and related platform services by 2025 with the goal of realizing unmanned construction sites.

"The intelligent robotics technology will help make construction sites safer and more efficient," Michael Ryu of Clue Insights, a developer of big data-based equipment management solutions for the group, said.


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