This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for almost a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear is the kind used to control steering in road vehicles. That’s not the only place where technology can make a big difference. Autonomous driving systems can also offer incredible benefits to boats and watercraft, and this is exactly why HD Hyundai has introduced its Avikus AI technology – for watercraft and watercraft.
Recently, HD Hyundai attended the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to demonstrate its NeuBoat Level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name combines the words “neuron” and “boat” and is quite appropriate as Avikus’ AI navigation technology is a core component of the solution, handling self-detection, real-time decisions and controls on the water. Of course, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes of HD Hyundai’s autonomous navigation solution, which we’ll detail below – HD Hyundai will also be showcasing more about the technology at CES 2023.
Avikus has recreational and commercial viability, and here’s why that matters
One of the most important aspects of HD Hyundai’s Avikus navigation solution is that it provides support in a variety of ways at sea and beyond. For example, while the recent demonstration showcased the use of the technology for recreational boats, it will also be commercially integrated – via a solution called HiNAS 2.0 (Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System) to be installed on 23 large vessels, including container ships. Last year, Avikus’ HiNAS 2.0 solution supported the world’s first transoceanic voyage of a large ship using autonomous navigation technologies when SK Shipping’s ultra-large LNG carrier Prism Courage completed a month-long voyage. Avikus explained that by allowing the system to select the optimal route, the ship was able to increase its fuel efficiency by 7% while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by around 5%.
The deep learning solution will improve over time, as AI and machine learning platforms generally do, but here it will help ships cope with unexpected events and greatly improve transportation and supply chain operations. The AI solutions will be able to control ship speeds, avoid collisions, identify and drive optimal routes, minimize fuel consumption and additionally improve sustainability.
But the same technology installed in recreational boats offers nearly identical benefits, which of course are more tailored to the average boat owner. Avikus signed a collaboration agreement with Raymarine, one of the most renowned suppliers of marine electronics, to jointly research and develop an autonomous navigation solution integrated with multifunction displays. Expected to be fitted to recreational vehicles, these displays will help improve navigation, drive times, fuel economy and more.
A tool called the Docking Assistant System (DAS) even provides boaters with intuitive docking assistance, taking much of the guesswork out of visiting new locations, parking your boat properly, and dealing with the surrounding logistics — like currents, water depth, and nearby objects . These solutions help on all fronts, offering greener and more sustainable choices, but also incredibly convenient and innovative controls for the average boater. Everyone will benefit, which is why it is such an impressive achievement and exciting to hear about.
HD Hyundai NeuBoat, innovation for the relaxed captain
HD Hyundai delivers the “world’s first” autonomous solution for leisure boats, NeuBoat. Imagine dock-to-dock route planning and autonomous navigation, with the option to park the boat fully remotely, even in a standard marina – from a mobile device. Automatic undocking is also available.
Route planning, berth planning, it’s all there, but they’re fully supported by intelligent sensors, including vision-sensing technologies, all connected to a deep learning platform for object detection and tracking. In other words, the AI learns as you go and gets better and smarter, not that it isn’t already smart. You can also monitor and control the connected boat through a web browser. So you can sit back, relax, have a drink or eat something and let the system drive the boat for you. As you’d expect, real-time collision avoidance ensures the boat doesn’t hit anything or run aground during your journey.
NeuBoat Navigation, which Avikus intends to release in the second half of 2023, will help human operators – who pilot their ships directly – to make better, more situation-aware decisions. The basic option offers navigation support through augmented reality to help operators make intelligent decisions, while the advanced option offers navigation support.
NeuBoat Navigation and Docking Control, which Avikus plans to release in 2024, is the next step up. Its base option will deliver AI-powered route planning, navigation and collision avoidance, but with human oversight. The advanced option offers the same navigation features, but also offers AI-controlled docking.
At this year’s CES, HD Hyundai shares more about these technologies and future plans. Of course, if you want to know more, you can continue reading on the HD Hyundai website.
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