Shipowners and shipbuilders are working on new ways to leverage emerging technologies to enhance operations in the shipping industry. In the latest development, South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries Group announced that it has succeeded in developing an artificial intelligence-based fire monitoring system. The system, which is another step toward unmanned ships, also earned classification and flag state approvals.
During the ceremony marking the approvals from the Korean Registry and Liberia, an official of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group commented, "It is meaningful in that it is the first system in the shipbuilding industry to incorporate artificial intelligence into the ship safety management field."
This system known as HiCams is a video analysis-based safety solution in which artificial intelligence monitors for fires aboard a ship. Artificial intelligence analyzes 20 CCTV images and using big data from the system installed in the machine areas of the ship, such as the engine room, and it can detect the initial stage of a fire from embers or smoke.
According to Hyundai, the improved precision of the system also reduces the possibility of frequent false alarms versus the existing fire detection sensors. Also, unlike conventional sensors that take about two minutes to detect fire, it can detect fire signs immediately. Combining image recognition and processing technology, ship interior and fire big data, and using advanced AI algorithms, the HiCams system accumulates information and learns from itself.
The technology has been approved by the Korean Register of Shipping and the Liberian Registry and was awarded and Approval-in-Principal (AIP) as the first AI-based system in the shipbuilding industry.
HHI also said that it plans to build on the technology to develop a broader range of ship safety applications. Starting with this fire monitoring system, HHI plans to build an AI-based integrated ship safety solution by developing a safety management system that monitors for other emergencies and conditions aboard the ship, including oil leaks, dampness, shifting cargo, and personal injuries.
Also using AI technologies, HHI last year developed the world's first navigation assistance system HiNAS, a core technology for autonomous ships. They report that they are accelerating the efforts for next-generation smart ship technology by developing a digital twin-based virtual test drive solution.