Furuno: Is the Ship of the Future Unmanned?

Resistance is Futile

Muruno Electric CO., LTD. is working on the demonstration trial and aiming to successfully put unmanned ships into practical use by 2025, as part of the unmanned ship project “MEGURI 2040,” led by The Nippon Foundation.

furuno unmanned ship at sea

MOL Co., Ltd., the leader of “unmanned technology verification tests on coastal container ships and car ferries” which is one of the two consortiums Furuno participates in, has concluded the world’s longest sea trial of unmanned ship operation using a large car ferry after the success on a coastal container ship.

furuno navigation at work

The first test took place in January 2022, an unmanned operation experiment was carried out from port to port (departure port: Tsuruga Port in Fukui Prefecture, arrival port: Sakai Port in Tottori Prefecture) using the coastal container ship “Mikage,” which was navigated without any seafarer including berthing and mooring operation.

The second experiment was conducted on the commercial route of “Sunflower Shiretoko” (a large car ferry) in February 2022. It navigated about 750 km between Tomakomai Port in Hokkaido and Oarai Port in Ibaraki Prefecture for 18 hours day and night.

furuno chart

The Sunflower Shiretoko, of 11,410 gross tons, is 190 meters long, 26.4 meters wide and has a capacity of 154 passengers, 160 trucks and 62 cars.

In addition to MOL, Imoto Lines, Furuno Electric Co. Ltd and Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding, other project partners include: ALI Technologies, MOL Ferry Co and MOL Marine & Engineering Co.