Hyundai shipbuilding group’s holding company test operates a passenger ship in virtual space


[Courtesy of Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering]

SEOUL – Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, the holding company of the Hyundai shipbuilding group, has tested autonomous passenger ships in virtual space using digital twin technology. Various functions such as high-speed navigation and docking were demonstrated using the virtual clone of a real ship being built.

A digital twin is a virtual clone of an object or infrastructure. Digital twins are frequently used as a testing ground for new technologies or other elements to learn the results of real-life situations simulated in virtual space. Commercial operators can test their products under various conditions without causing irreversible effects in real life. A new model can be created if the virtual clone is destroyed.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (KSOE) said in a statement on April 18 that the company demonstrated a virtual passenger ship in Pangyo, south of Seoul. Using autonomous technology developed by Avikus, a national developer of autonomous navigation solutions, the ship successfully exhibited many different functions, including high-speed navigation and docking. Bi-fuel engines using a liquefied natural gas (LNG) and electric propulsion system and a remote control solution were also tested. KSOE is building the current vessel in collaboration with an institute of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the southern port city of Ulsan.

“We will commercialize the virtual test operation technique by continuously developing advanced ship technology based on a digital twin,” an unnamed KSOE official said in a statement.

In January 2021, KSOE tested LNG carriers using digital twin technology for the first time in the world. The solution verified dual-fuel engines, fuel delivery systems, and power control systems of natural gas carriers. KSOE’s test operations solution for LNG carriers has received basic approval from Lloyd’s Register, a London-based technical and commercial services organization that provides maritime classification. The company said the solution can reduce the cost of demonstrating LNG carriers by up to 30%.

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