Agreement for research and development of the “Safe Berthing/Unberthing Assist System”

Press Release: Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” LINE), Kawasaki Kinkai Kisen, Ltd. (“K” LINE KINKAI), and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (KHI) have agreed to carry out the research and development of the “Safe Berthing/Unberthing Assist System” to enhance safety and efficiency of vessel manoeuvring, berthing/unberthing, and mooring operations in ports.


The research and development aim to advance and improve safety and efficiency in berthing, unberthing, including mooring by combining expertise from “K” LINE and “K” LINE KINKAI with advanced technologies from KHI.


Currently, safe berthing/unberthing operations in ports are ensured by well experienced and knowledgeable shipboard crew about characteristics of ship specific manoeuvring and mooring equipment features. For further improvement of safety, this system incorporates the latest technologies, including AI, to assist in safe berthing/unberthing operations. It will be the first system in the world that provides integrated support for all necessary operations from manoeuvring in port, berthing/unberthing, mooring including mooring line monitoring. We will install the system on domestic vessels operated by “K” LINE KINKAI as a testing ground for this research and development and establish this system by spring 2025.


“K” LINE group is currently working on the “K”-Assist Project (“K” LINE Autonomous Ship with Safe and Intelligent Supporting Technology), which aims to further enhance safe ship operations through the integration of expertise in safe operations and advanced technologies. “Safe Berthing/Unberthing Assist System” is one of the components of the project.


“K” LINE will continue research and development to improve safety even further by providing more sophisticated support for shipboard crew and reducing their workload, as well as to realize autonomous ships in the future.


Overview of “Safe Berthing/Unberthing Assist System”



*1 KICS® (Kawasaki Integrated Control System) is a system that can comprehensively control multiple steering elements such as controllable pitch propeller, swivel thruster, side thruster, and rudder.


*2 DPS (Dynamic Positioning System) is a system that maintains the vessel’s planned position and heading by automatically controlling the vessel’s propulsion system and rudder. It features real-time monitoring of the vessel’s position through GPS or other position-measuring devices. 


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