Samsung Heavy Industries, one of the world’s largest shipbuilders, has signed a joint development agreement with Kongsberg Maritime AS, a Norwegian technology company, to develop next-generation autonomous ships, the South Korean shipbuilder said on Monday.
The two companies plan to collaborate on 174,000-cubic-meter liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers that will use advanced remote and low-carbon technologies to improve safety and efficiency. The project is part of Samsung Heavy Industries’ strategy to expand its digital and green product portfolio and tap into the growing market for autonomous ships.
Kongsberg Maritime is a global leader in automation, navigation systems and digital solutions for ships. It has been involved in several projects related to autonomous shipping, such as Yara Birkeland, the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship.
Samsung Heavy Industries has also demonstrated its capabilities in autonomous navigation, having successfully performed a sea trial of a 9,000-ton vessel from Mokpo, South Jeolla Province, to Dokdo in the East Sea of South Korea, last year.
The joint development agreement between Samsung Heavy Industries and Kongsberg Maritime is expected to accelerate the innovation and adoption of autonomous ships in the maritime industry.