Nippon Yūsen Kabushiki Kaisha, otherwise known as NYK, Japan's largest shipping company, will be sending a cargo ship 236 miles from Tokyo to the port of Ise. The ship will have no crew on board and will be entirely self-piloted, relying on satellite guidance, onboard sensors, and artificial intelligence making decisions based on these inputs.
While previous organisations have attempted autonomous shipping expeditions, Nippon Yusen says this is the first to venture out into traffic, mixing with other ships along busy lanes.
Nippon Yusen states 70% of maritime accidents involve human error, so autonomous shipping can eliminate this and arguably prove safer.
Nippon Yusen aims to have Japan lead the world in autonomous cargo shipping.
The business has 55 container ships that can carry almost 4,699 million tons to 100 countries, along with 396 bulk carriers, 110 car carriers, 78 tankers, and 45 other vessels.
The company is also looking to create a super eco ship by 2030 that reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 69%, making greater use of wind, solar, and fuel-cell technology.