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MOL starts test of Vessel Image Recognition System using AI Technology

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced the joint development, along with SenseTime Japan Ltd., of new vessel image recognition and recording system, and the system’s installation for demonstration testing aboard the cruise ship “Nippon Maru” operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line, Ltd.

The system’s graphic recognition engine was developed by incorporating MOL’s knowledge and applying artificial intelligence (AI) deep learning technology, allowing it to recognize surrounding vessels. The system recognizes and automatically records vessels with high accuracy using a terminal equipped with a graphic processing unit (GPU) and ultrahigh-resolution cameras.

Recognition technology detects vessels not recognizable by vessels AIS

 

The image recognition technology, which can be used even at night or during other periods of poor visibility, can detect small vessels (International treaty and domestic law require vessels to be equipped with AIS, but the regulations do not apply to ocean-going freighters of less than 300 gross tonnes and coastal vessels of less than 500 gross tonnes) that are not recognizable by vessel automatic identification systems (AIS). MOL views advanced image recognition as an underlying technology needed for automated watch-keeping, as the company works to realize the autonomous smart ships of the future.

Since this system automatically records image data, MOL plans to carefully review the accumulated data and use it to further enhance the image recognition engine’s analysis accuracy.

Image recognition as part of its challenge project “FOCUS EYE” series

MOL positions the navigation support system featuring image recognition, such as the AR voyage information display system, which is already in practical use, as part of its challenge project, called the “FOCUS EYE” series. The company continues to develop and modify the system, which supports crewmembers’ watch-keeping while underway, to enhance safe operation and speed up the automation of watch-keeping, with the long-term goal of realizing autonomous smart ships, said a MOL release.

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