MOL shows off its AI vessel recognition system

Japan’s largest shipping line, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL, today revealed how its brand new vessel image recognition and recording system is developing as the company moves ahead with its smart ship project.

The artificial intelligence system, developed with SenseTime Japan, has undergone testing with MOL’s cruiseship, Nippon Maru. The system recognises and automatically records vessels using a terminal equipped with a graphic processing unit (GPU) and ultra high-resolution cameras.

The image recognition technology, which can be used even at night or during other periods of poor visibility, can detect small vessels that are not recognisable 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,” the company stated in a release today.

MOL is one of the world’s pioneers when it comes to developing cutting edge technology for its fleet. Since 2016 it has set out to lead the world in the development of so-called smart ships with breakthroughs including deploying augmented reality technology on the bridges of 21 of its VLCCs as well as developing auto berthing technology.


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.
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