NYK secures class approval for autonomous ship framework

Japanese owner Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has obtained approval in principle (AIP) for an autonomous ship framework, currently being developed under the name of APExS, from classification society ClassNK.

It is the first time for an autonomous ship framework to be approved in Japan. Based on the framework, NYK will further deepen its cooperation with domestic and overseas partners for the development of autonomous ship technology.

The framework includes the development high-speed computer-based information processing technology and risk analyses that support crew members’ situational awareness and the decision-making necessary for maneuvering.

Last year, NYK conducted a trial of its maritime autonomous surface ship trial on its car carrier Iris Leader on routes between China and Japan.

Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.


  1. Has Jason ever sailed?
    What would be the plan?
    Do away with ships’ crews altogether?

    What is going to happen with those autonomous ships when calling specific ports ?

    Or is this technology intended only to aid mariners in situational awareness and not to replace them?

    Or is it intended to take over all the ships’ movements? Will it replace pilots?

    What are the benefits, besides cutting down crews?

    I wrote a piece arguing about AI and Autonomous ships. I am not a prolific writer as Mr. Jason., I am not even a writer, but if you are interested I email it to you.

    Capt. Caballero

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