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South Korea launches container ship built for autonomous operations

South Korea has launched a container ship that will promote autonomous shipping operations.

The Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries described the ship as the first oceangoing vessel for Level Three autonomous shipping.

There are plans to undertake the first demonstration of autonomous shipping with this ship in the latter part of the year. The country’s Hyundai Mip Dockyard Co. held the vessel’s christening event early this month. The 1,800 teu vessel was named Pos Singapore (IMO 9974773). It was reported that the vessel will be delivered to Pan Ocean Co by the end of this month.

The order for this ship was placed in 2022.

The Government of South Korea has noted that autonomous ships were the main goal in the Advanced Maritime Mobility Development Strategy, which was announced in 2023. The autonomous shipping project was launched in 2020, and the government gave more than $120m for research and development of these technologies.

The ministry said that the Pos Singapore had been designed to function without any crew, with operations controlled remotely.

The plan is that Pos Singapore will conduct its first trials on an international shipping route in September 2024.

2024-built, Liberia-flagged, 18085 gt Pos Singapore is owned by Pos Maritime EF SA care of manager Pan Ocean Co ltd of Seoul, South Korea.