15 March 2022 – Leading Classification Society ClassNK granted the Approval in Principle (AiP) for a fully autonomous ship framework (development code “APExS-auto”*1) jointly developed by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), MTI Co., Ltd. (MTI), and Japan Marine Science Inc. “APExS-auto” is a framework of the concept for realizing a fully autonomous ship by automating a series of processes required for ship operation, including information gathering, analysis, planning, approval, and execution. It has been adopted in the fully autonomous ship demonstration conducted by the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship (DFFAS) Consortium, which is participating in the “Joint Technological Development Programme for the Demonstration of Fully Autonomous Ships” under the fully autonomous ship project “MEGURI2040” administered by the Nippon Foundation. ClassNK has been involved in various demonstration projects to support the development and implementation of automated and autonomous ship operation technologies from a safety perspective and has worked to establish the necessary safety standards. In 2020, ClassNK issued the AiP for a crewed autonomous ship framework (development code “APExS”) developed by NYK and MTI. For the concept design of “APExS-auto”, ClassNK has also conducted its safety review based on the requirements of the society’s “Guidelines for Automated/Autonomous Operation of ships”. Having confirmed its compliance with the requirements, including clarification of basic elements comprising the concept of the system, risk assessments, and backup systems, ClassNK issued the AiP. In collaboration with partners, ClassNK will continue to ensure the environment for applying automated and autonomous ship operation technologies by providing standards and technical verifications for advanced initiatives.
*1 APExS-auto is an acronym for “Action Planning and Execution System for Full Autonomous”