MOL deploys augmented reality technology on tanker bridges

The bridges of many of Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines’ (MOL) tankers are set to get the fighter jet treatment with augmented reality (AR) technology deployed.

The futuristic navigation system has been developed with compatriot Furuno and is now being installed on 21 VLCCs, after a successful pilot last year on one of the group’s new car carriers and another VLCC.

The system displays information on other vessels sailing on a vessel’s planned route and surrounding sea areas and other ocean conditions, such as shallow waters. It integrates information from the automatic identification system (AIS) and radar with real-time video images from the bridge camera in collaboration with Furuno Electric’s Electric Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) FMD3300 series. The system provides visual support to crewmembers during their watch-keeping and ship operations by using AR technology to superimposing real-time video imagery and voyage information.

“Due to its deep draft, VLCC operations require special care when navigating on the waters such as the Straits of Singapore and Malacca, a heavily trafficked sea lane that has limited areas,” MOL noted in a release today.

MOL will install the system in its energy transport fleet including LNG carriers, as well as its dry bulk carriers.

The company stated today that the technology will play a “key role” in realising autonomous ships in the future.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I can only see this as a positive step in the right direction. This type of technology has been available in the consumer car market for decades. Given the possibility to link with AIS, radar and the vast amount of navigational information systems available this will hopefully be a major deterrent for collisions and safeguard both property and the environment.

  2. 40 years back 55 crew, 30 years back 21,
    Tried 15 ;20 years back failed reverted to 21. Maybe 10 in another 5 years….alternative careers anyone?
    Too competitive ashore. Review what you need actually in life.

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