Cruise & Ferry Review - Autumn/Winter 2023

132 Heading in the right direction CFR explores how digital technologies from some of the key players in the navigation and communications sector are helping cruise and ferry operators to operate more safely, efficiently and sustainably From fully autonomous vessels to decarbonised operations, technology providers are developing solutions to help shipowners address their operational efficiency, safety, and environmental challenges. For example, Japanese ship operators, suppliers and solution providers are participating in The Nippon Foundation (TNF)’s MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Programme, which promotes the adoption of fully autonomous navigation systems. TNF’s seminar held in July 2023 noted the increasing importance of addressing the number of maritime accidents caused by human error and training crew on new technologies. One partner contributing to the MEGURI2040 initiative is Furuno, a navigation and communications firm. Furuno will help to create four fully autonomous vessels including a passenger ferry that will operate on a remote island route by 2025 that will have situational awareness, automatic collision avoidance technology and will be digitally connected to onshore support centres. Ship operators are also implementing various navigational technologies to protect passengers and crew against unsafe weather conditions. For example, weather forecasting services provider FarSounder is contributing to the Seabed 2030 project by mapping the ocean floors REPORT