Artificial Intelligence: Prism Courage, Hyundai’s Ultra-Large LNG Carrier, Crosses The Pacific Autonomously

It was the first ultra-large ship to make an autonomous ocean crossing of more than 10,000 km (6,210 miles).

Avikus, a Hyundai (KRX: 005380) subsidiary focussed on autonomous navigation solutions, and SK Shipping announced on June 2 that the PRISM COURAGE, a 180,000 square-meter-class ultra-large LNG carrier had completed a roughly a 10,000 kilometer ocean voyage autonomously. The ship was equipped with HiNAS 2.0, Avikus’ Level 2 autonomous navigation solution. (HD HYUNDAI)

First large ship to cross an ocean using autonomous navigation

The PRISM COURAGE commenced its journey on May 1 from Freeport, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. After passing though the Panama Canal the ship took 33 days to reach the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Chungcheong Province in Korea. This was a 20,000 kilometer trip of which about half was completed using HiNAS 2.0.

Captain Young-hoon Koh of the PRISM COURAGE said, “Avikus’ autonomous navigation technology was greatly helpful in this ocean-crossing test especially for maintaining navigating routes, autonomously changing directions, and avoiding nearby ships, which were all increasing ship crews’ work conveniences.”

As a result of the autonomous navigation, the massive ship avoided colliding with nearby ships over 100 times. Besides, it improved fuel efficiency by 7% and cut emissions by about 5%.


A navigation system developed by Avikus, the HiNAS 2.0 is Level 2 autonomous navigation technology that relies on AI to recognize the surrounding environment, such as weather and wave heights, and nearby ships, and then controls the vessel’s steering commands in real-time.

It is therefore broader in scope than Level 1, which covers the functions of recognition and judgment.

Avikus CEO Do-hyeong Lim said, “It is meaningful that we have successfully tested the Level 2 system to operate a vessel beyond the Level 1 technology providing optimal routes.” He added, “We will lead innovation by upgrading autonomous navigation solutions not only for large merchant ships but also for small leisure boats.”

Avikus is planning to commercialize HiNAS 2.0 this year.

Related Story: Autonomous Ship Mayflower Crosses The Atlantic

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