Action Planning Unit
The Action Planning Unit is a central element of the automatic navigation system Furuno is currently developing to realize fully autonomous ships: the APExS-auto (Action Planning and Execution System for full autonomy) concept*.
This unit integrates data from a multitude of different sensors to collect information accurately and identify objects around the vessel, detecting any potential risk of collision. Based on the information obtained, the Action Planning Unit calculates the best route and readjusts the course to take to avoid a collision.
The route to be avoided is then automatically integrated into the current route plan, and the ship is redirected to follow the safest route via the DTC (Drive Train Controller: a group of functions that control the rudder, engines, thrusters, etc.).
Thanks to its comprehensive integration capability, the Action Planning Unit paves the way for fully autonomous navigation.
*A framework to realize fully autonomous ships proposed by NYK, MTI and Nippon Kaiji Kagaku, which has received basic certification (AiP) from the Nippon Kaiji Kyokai and Bureau Veritas. The system will achieve autonomous navigation through AI that will take over navigation-related tasks, such as information gathering, analysis, planning and approval, which are currently performed by humans.