SEOUL, Aug. 09 (Yonhap) — Avikus, a subsidiary of South Korea’s leading shipbuilding group HD Hyundai, announced on Tuesday that it has released its Level 2 Autonomous Navigation System for the first time in the shipbuilding industry. .

Avikus has signed an agreement with two national companies – SK Shipping Co. and Sinokor Merchant Marine Co. – to gradually provide the Tier 2 autonomous navigation solution to 23 ships operated by shippers, the company said in a statement.

The HiNAS 2.0 system based on deep learning will allow a ship to react to unexpected situations on its own. Controlling speed, avoiding collisions and minimizing fuel consumption will also be possible in the system, he said.

There are four levels of autonomous navigation technologies approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In Tier 2 technology, crew members must be on board to respond to an emergency.

A Tier 3 ship does not require crew members and the remote control system is available in case of an emergency. At level 4, a boat’s automated functions can navigate in all conditions.

The market for autonomous navigation systems is currently in its infancy and Avikus aims to sell the Level 2 system for recreational boats starting next year, according to the statement.

Avikus has sold 220 units of the Tier 1 system, mostly to overseas shippers who operate high-end commercial vessels, such as container ships and liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships.

To bring Tier 3 and Tier 4 vessels to market, there must be a review of current maritime laws, which prohibit the operation of unmanned vessels for safety reasons, the company said.

The market for autonomous navigation vessels and related equipment is expected to grow at an average rate of 12.6% per year to reach $235.7 billion in 2028, according to global market research firm Acute Market Reports.

In June, Avikus completed the world’s first transoceanic voyage of an LNG vessel with Level 2 technology.

The 180,000 cubic meter LNG carrier covered half of the nearly 20,000 kilometer month-long voyage from Freeport on the southern Gulf Coast to the Boryeong LNG terminal in South Korea using the HiNAS 2.0 system of Avikus.

HiNAS stands for the company’s Hyundai Level 2 Intelligent Navigation Assistance System.

HD Hyundai, formerly known as Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings, has Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Co. (KSOE) as a sub-holding company under its wing. KSOE has three main subsidiaries: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co. and Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co.