NYK is trialling a lookout safety system developed by Israeli marine platform developer Orca AI
A prototype of the automatic ship target recognition system was installed on a ship operated by NYK Group.
The new system will help to verify if the safety of a ship’s operation can be improved by automating the task of recognising dangerous objects. This system can automatically recognise dangerous targets and other vessels that may be overlooked by the human eye, especially at night and in congested waters.
As onboard operations are conducted day or night and exposed to the elements such as heavy wind and rain, NYK noted that as yet, no camera has been able to operate both day and night, and no system could measure the distance from the captured image to the target with a certain degree of accuracy.
The new system uses a camera unit that bridges both gaps. The 18 cm x 44 cm x 35 cm camera unit has a 120° view, equipped with three cameras and three infrared cameras making night filming possible.
Information obtained from navigational equipment, including vessel names, distance, and time when the ship is closest to the target, can be superimposed and displayed in an integrated manner on a tablet or touch-panel monitor display.
The system can independently recognise small fishing boats and small markers that are not captured by radar and not equipped with AIS. The system measures the distance to these targets and notifies on-duty personnel of any danger of collision.
Surrounding images taken are analysed using AI on Orca AI’s server, which uses machine learning and then remotely updates the onboard software.
Navigation instrument information is sent to Orca AI’s server and displayed together with the video data making it possible to monitor the ship’s movement and ascertain the operational situation from the shore.
In this verification, the system has been installed on a trial basis on a ship operated by the NYK Group to verify detection capability and contribution to lookout work, improve the target detection algorithm through data collection and machine learning, and enhance the recognition rate.
In addition, in joint research conducted by NYK and its R&D division MTI in advance with Orca AI, the system was installed on domestic vessels to collect information on the Japanese coast, in addition to fishing boats, fishing gear, and buoys specific to Japan.
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