Introducing ICT-based Ship Operation Tool, Targeting Sea Routes around the World

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Junichiro Ikeda) announced that, along with Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. (President: Yukio Furuno; Headquarters: Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo Prefecture), it made a joint presentation of their advanced augmented reality (AR)-based Navigation System to about 200 tanker industry representatives at the ENOC Marine Conference and OCIMF Middle East Regional Marine Forum (Note 1) held in Dubai in September. The presentation introduced the background behind the technology and development of the system, as well as MOL’s efforts to “forge ahead to become the world leader in safe operation.” The AR Navigation System provides visual support to crewmembers during their watch-keeping and ship operations by using AR technology to superimpose real-time video imagery and voyage information (Note 2).

Large tankers, which have a deep draft*, require very careful ship operations in waters such as the Strait of Malacca, a highly congested shipping lane. If a collision or grounding occurred, it could lead to an oil spill and serious environmental disaster.

* The vertical distance between the bottom of the hull and the waterline.

AR Navigation System can display combined real-time video images and vehicle course information from nautical instruments on a display in the bridge even in congested sea lanes. Since it allows mariners, at a glance, to ensure that they are on a safe course, alerts them to nearby vessels that could pose a risk, shallow sea areas, and other potential hazards. The presentation gained considerable interest among tanker industry representatives in attendance at the conference. Using feedback gained at the conference, MOL will continue to work closely with FURUNO to study further upgrades to the system, with the goal of ensuring that the AR Navigation System will contribute to marine traffic safety through “the eyes of the captains and officers” who actually use the system on board, and offer encouraging support to users.

OCIMF Middle East Regional Marine Forum

MOL positions safe operation as a social commitment and the highest priority in all of its business activities, as the company forges ahead to become the world leader in safe operation. The company expressed its commitment to advanced support of safe operation and reduction of its environmental impact through the “ISHIN NEXT – MOL SMART SHIP PROJECT -,” (Note 3) which began in November 2016.

MOL continually introduces ICT technologies including the AR Navigation System to the world and aims to become the customers’ first choice through top-quality services and safe operation backed by advanced technology.

Presentation slide explaining AR Navigation System screen used in the conference
(vessel under way in the Kanmon Stairs)


Image stabilizing technique of AR Navigation System (online video)
Example of AR Navigation System Screen
(vessel under way in the Irako Channel)

(Note 1) ENOC Marine Conference and OCIMF Middle East Regional Marine Forum. It was held in the U.A.E. from September 10-11, 2019, by Emirates National Oil Company of the U.A.E. (ENOC) and the Oil Company International Marine Forum (OCIMF).

(Note 2) The system displays information on other vessels sailing on a vessel’s planned route and surrounding sea areas and other ocean conditions, such as shallow waters, on tablets and screens. It integrates information from the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar (TT) with real-time video images from the bridge camera in collaboration with FURUNO’s cutting-edge Electric Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) FMD3300 series.

April 22, 2019 press release:
MOL to Install AR Navigation System on 21 VLCCs – Supporting Watch-keeping and Ship Operation during Voyages to Ensure World-leading Level of Safety –

(Note 3)   November 24, 2016 press release:

MOL Launches “ISHIN NEXT – MOL SMART SHIP PROJECT -“- Enhancing Business Strengths and Increasing Corporate Value –