Seoul - South Korea has launched a project to develop autonomous ships by 2025. The goal is to build ships with a level 3 autonomy, that is - based on the categories established two years ago by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) - unmanned ships that are controlled remotely.
To activate the project, the ministries of Commerce, Industry and Energy and of the Oceans and Fisheries have set up a specific working group and approved an allocation of 160 billion won (132 million dollars). Specifying that experts estimate that the global market for autonomous ships will reach $155 billion in 2025, the Minister of Commerce, Kang Gyeong-seong, explained that the goal of the government's initiative "is to win a 50% market share by 2023, when autonomous ships will be marketed".
The minister also specified that the aim is also the construction of completely autonomous ships: "We will not spare any effort to develop the technology necessary for a fully autonomous ship with level 4 functionality".