NYK and its group companies MTI Co. Ltd., Keihin Dock Co. Ltd., and Japan Marine Science Inc. (JMS) have successfully tested the remote navigation of a tugboat as a part of the Japanese government’s Sea Trial Project on Remote Control Navigation.*
Outline of the Remote Navigation Test
Within Tokyo Bay, a tugboat equipped with a manned remotely controlled system was operated remotely from an operation center in the city of Nishinomiya in Hyogo prefecture approximately 400 kilometers away. This tugboat was maneuvered approximately 12 kilometers in Tokyo Bay between an area off Honmoku and an area off the port of Yokosuka.
The operator in the remote operation center was able to use sensors and cameras equipped to the tugboat to recognize surrounding conditions and created a route plan and action plan (collision avoidance route plan). The operator shared the plans with the tugboat captain, who then approved them. The conditions that remotely navigated tugboat proceeded operations in accordance with the approved route plan and action plan were confirmed and evaluated.