The Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Project Demonstration test of autonomous navigation system on large RORO cargo


JRC has been participated in the Joint Technological Development Program for the Demonstration test of Fully Autonomous Ships under the MEGURI 2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Project*1 (MEGURI2040) administrated by the Nippon Foundation.
In this time, we succeeded the sea demonstration test with PoC*2 stage of autonomous navigation system consisting of single function on board ship aiming to social implementation of fully autonomous ship, and we implemented on a round-trip route of approximately 1,600 km between Hitachi Port and Kushiro Port, which is the existing RORO cargo ship service route.

PoC overview

The autonomous navigation system was installed on the 11,413 gross-ton large RORO cargo ship "HOKUREN MARU No. 2" operated by KAWASAKI KINKAI KISEN KAISHA, Ltd.(Kawasaki Kinkai Kisen) for a total of 3 voyages starting on October 1, 2023*3.
We confirmed that recognition, analysis, and decision making by the autonomous navigation system are executed with a high degree of accuracy in coastal navigation. In the experimental route, the autonomous navigation system was used to navigate while maintaining the normal crew navigation tasks, and in situations where avoidance was necessary, the autonomous navigation system proposed avoidance routes and controlled steering to safely avoid other vessels. The autonomous navigation system has achieved an average system operation rate of approximately 96% in the sea area set as ODD*4.



JRC's efforts in PoC

JRC has successfully completed a demonstration test of the autonomous navigation System (Target Detection, Planning, and Actuation), which is one of the On board system, Off board system, and Ship-to-Shore communication system to be developed for social implementation in the second stage of MEGURI2040. We will continue to brush up the autonomous navigation system by feeding back the data obtained from the demonstration test.

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JRC's approach towards 2025

JRC will continue to develop Off board system and Ship-to-Shore communication system, in addition to upgrading On board system, and to develop and demonstrate technologies for social implementation, with the aim of conducting a demonstration test in 2025.

Ship-to-Shore communication image

JRC will continue to work with KAWASAKI KISEN KAISHA, Ltd., Kawasaki Kinkai Kisen and YDK Technologies Co., Ltd. to develop a comprehensive system that will contribute to the improvement of fully autonomous ships technology in order to realize the autonomous navigation system on the existing RORO cargo ship "HOKUREN MARU No. 2".


*1 : A subsidization scheme to cultivate further momentum for technological development in the field of fully autonomous ships, promoting changes in logistics, economies, and social infrastructure in Japan, and supporting such technological development through the success of the world's first fully autonomous operation trials by domestic coastal vessels. We are participating as a member of the Designing the Future of Fully Autonomous Ships Plus consortium (DFFAS+).

MEGURI2040 logo
image04-2DFFAS+ logo

*2 : PoC (Proof of Concept)
Verification process prior to prototype development.
This is the sea demonstration test of the On board system only, and is one of the efforts toward the 2025 demonstration test of an Fully Autonomous Ship connected to shore-side-system.

*3 :
 Voyage 1 : October 1-3, 2023, Voyage 2 : October 9-11, 2023, Voyage 3 : October 17-19, 2023

*4 : ODD (Operational Design Domain)
Operational design areas where autonomous navigation systems operate normally.

News(24 July 2023)
Participating in the Second Stage of the Nippon Foundation MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Project for Social Implementation

News(3 September 2021)
Japan Radio Completes Installation of Fleet Operation Center for Support of Autonomous Ships from Shore - DFFAS Project under Autonomous Ship Development Program Led by Nippon Foundation

For further information : please contact

Japan Radio Co., Ltd.
Marine Business Department
TEL : +81-3-5534-1115