LR announces collaboration to develop industry-first ocean-going autonomous navigation system.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between ST Engineering Electronics Ltd., Mitsui & Co., Ltd and Lloyd’s Register.

10 April 2019

Lloyd’s Register (LR) announced today – during Singapore Maritime Week – a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ST Engineering Electronics Ltd. (STEE), a leading Information Communications Technologies (ICT) provider and co-creater of Smart City Solutions, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd (Mitsui), the second largest trading house in Japan.

The partners will collaborate on the ‘Development of Ocean-going Autonomous Navigation System on a Marine Asset’, the MoU forms the foundation of the MPA-funded ‘World’s Largest Ocean-Going Autonomous Vessel Programme’, which was also announced today.

“LR’s involvement in this project builds on the capability and experience already gained from our partnership in other industry-leading and world first autonomous projects,” said Andy McKeran, LR Commercial Director Marine & Offshore. “However, this project, a world first for the deployment of autonomous navigational technology to an ocean-going vessel for commercial operations, pushes the boundaries of autonomous technology and moves the industry towards deployment of autonomous navigation systems onboard vessels for enhanced performance and critically, safety.”

“Increasing interest in maritime autonomy and remote access/control technologies is a specific example of larger technological changes we are currently seeing in the maritime industry. Essential to the successful and safe adoption of these technologies is that robust use cases are established, for example to improve navigational safety, supply chain efficiency or operational costs of marine assets. Autonomous systems will also provide opportunities for skilled seafarers to focus on what they do best, and the safe and sustainable integration of autonomous systems relies on the appropriate engagement with seafaring professionals.”

He continued, “Working with STEE, who have already developed and proven this capability and are now looking to work to scale in the commercial marine market, is what sets this project apart; STEE provide world-class technical expertise, technology and advanced learnings on autonomous systems in the marine environment. We will support with expertise on assurance, certification and regulation for the application of autonomy in the maritime environment as well as approval of systems where appropriate.”

LR is a leading player in the safe adoption of digital technologies within the marine and offshore sector, and has pioneered a ‘total-systems’ approach. In February 2016, LR issued the first guidance on digital-enabled ships: ‘Deploying Information and Communications Technology in Shipping – Lloyd’s Register’s Approach to Assurance’. This identified the elements that constitute a digital-enabled ship and the activities that need to take place to ensure that digital technology does not introduce a safety risk, effectively providing the industry with a route map to understanding the implications of digital technology. This was followed with the introduction of the industry’s first Digital Ships ShipRight procedure, which details LR’s framework for accepting digital technology. This was recently revised using lessons learnt from live projects that are leading the progression in this field and where LR is in partnership with key clients such as Rolls-Royce, CSSC and Synergy Marine, as well as through lessons learnt by working with academic and industry partners at QinetiQ, the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre, to name a few.

About ST Engineering Electronics Ltd.
We are a leading Information Communications Technologies (ICT) provider and co-creater of Smart City Solutions.

We specialise in the design, development and delivery of ICT products, solutions and services addressing the needs of Smart Cities for Connectivity, Mobility and Security. Our deep technological and engineering expertise straddles business domains in Rail & Road Engineering, Satellite Communications, Public Safety & Security, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, Training & Simulation, Managed Services and Defence.

Our operations span the globe with offices in Africa, China, Europe, India, Latin America, North America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. With a strong presence in about 30 cities, we serve a customer network that spans more than 100 countries.

About Mitsui & Co., Ltd
Mitsui is one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment and service enterprises in the world, with 139 offices in 66 countries / regions as of Apr.1, 2019. Utilising our global operating locations, network and information resources, we are multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Mobility, Chemicals, Energy, Food, Food & Retail Management, Healthcare & Service, IT & Communication Business, Corporate Development Business. Mitsui is actively taking on challenges for global business innovation around the world.

About Lloyd's Register (LR)
We started out in 1760 as a marine classification society. Today, we're one of the world's leading providers of professional services for engineering and technology – improving safety and increasing the performance of critical infrastructures for clients in over 75 countries worldwide.

The profits we generate fund the Lloyd's Register Foundation, a charity which supports science and engineering-related research, education and public engagement around everything we do. All of this helps us stand by the purpose that drives us every single day: Working together for a safer world.

In a world of increasing complexity – overloaded with data and opinion - we know that our clients need more than technology to succeed. They need an experienced hand. A partner to listen, cut through the noise and focus on what really matters to them and their customers. Our engineers and technical experts are dedicated to assurance. That means a commitment to embracing new technology, and a deep rooted desire to drive better performance. So we consider our customers' needs with diligence and empathy, then use our expertise and over 250 years' experience to deliver the smart solution for everyone.

After all, there are some things technology can't replace.

Lloyd's Register press release