FURUNO Electric CO., LTD. (hereinafter referred to as "we"; headquartered in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture; Yukio Furuno, President) participated in the Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship Project (hereinafter referred to as the "DFFAS Project") (Note 1), which consists of 30 Japanese companies, under the “Joint Technological Development Programme for the Demonstration of Unmanned Ships” (Note 2) conducted by the Nippon Foundation. In collaboration with the Nippon Foundation, we aim to contribute to a successful crewless maritime autonomous surface ship demonstration trial by 2025.
The DFFAS Project, has completed the construction of a fleet operation center in Makuhari, Chiba City to support crewless maritime autonomous surface ships from the land, which has been developed as part of a comprehensive system that covers the functions required for crewless maritime autonomous surface ships.
Fleet Operation Center
Remote control console
(source: DFFAS CONSORTIUM)
3D Bird View System
This system supports the formulation of medium-to-long distance ship maneuvering plans while giving a 3D bird's-eye view of the surrounding conditions of the ship. It will be installed on ships as well as on remote ship consoles.
Fleet support system console
(source: DFFAS CONSORTIUM)
About the Fleet Operation Center and role of FURUNO
The Fleet Operation Center collects information from the ship. It provides support from the land by monitoring and analyzing the operation status of ships, and has a system to operate the ship remotely in case of an emergency.
We are working on an emergency operation system that can promptly ensure the safety of the ship, such as remotely maneuvering the ship from the land when the automatic navigation system on board determines that support on land is necessary. In addition, as part of that system, we are developing a 3D Bird View System that supports medium-to-long distance ship maneuvering plans by displaying a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding conditions in three dimensions in VR(Virtual Reality).
Overview of the DFFAS Project
The DFFAS Project aims to realize a domestic coastal shipping business supported by crewless maritime autonomous surface ships, thus contributing to solving the issue of crew shortages. With open collaborations for technology standardization and system / infrastructure development, the project plans to carry out a demonstration trial in February 2022 in order to simulate the actual operation of crewless maritime autonomous surface ships in congested waters using a domestic coastal container ship toward the realization of the full-scale commercialization of these autonomous ships by 2025.
(Courtesy: DFFAS CONSORTIUM)
We are working on the technological development by fully utilizing our know-how and expertise gained in the field for a safer and more efficient autonomous operation of ships.
(Note 1) One consortium of the Nippon Foundation MEGURI 2040 for the unmanned ship. A project consists of 30 Japanese companies for "Designing the Future of Full Autonomous Ship ~ Grand design drawn by diverse experts~" led by the NYK Group.
(Note 2) A subsidization scheme to cultivate further momentum for technological development in the field of crewless maritime autonomous surface ships, promoting changes in logistics, economies, and social infrastructure in Japan, and supporting such technological development through the success of the world's first crewless autonomous operation trials by domestic coastal vessels.
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