Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is set to revolutionize fire detection on its upcoming LNG-fueled car carriers. The company plans to integrate advanced AI and camera systems, developed by Captain’s Eye in Israel. These technologies aim for early fire detection, enhancing onboard safety.
Scheduled for installation on ten new car carriers, slated for delivery in 2024 and beyond, MOL is also exploring options to retrofit its existing vessels with this cutting-edge system. Captain’s Eye AI operates by analyzing camera-captured images and promptly alerting onboard crew members and onshore ship managers in case of abnormal patterns indicating potential fire risks. This strategic move underscores MOL's commitment to advancing safety measures in maritime operations.
In light of the prevailing safety measures, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has undertaken a strategic initiative to reinforce the fire detection capabilities of its car carriers. While the existing vessels are equipped with conventional fire detection systems, the integration of an advanced AI-based system is poised to revolutionize the detection process, promising not only speedier identification but also real-time monitoring of cargo hold images. This innovative enhancement, applicable both onboard and on land, is anticipated to significantly elevate response times in the event of potential fire incidents.
The impetus for this comprehensive upgrade stems from a series of recent high-profile fires involving car carriers, prompting heightened concerns within the roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) sector. The most notable incident involved the Felicity Ace, an MOL-operated vessel, which succumbed to flames in February 2022 while transporting a substantial cargo of 4,000 vehicles, including electric and luxury brands. Although the 22 crew members were successfully evacuated, the ship ultimately sank after an extensive two-week blaze.
Adding to the urgency is MOL's past experience with the Sincerity Ace in 2018, where the vessel caught fire in the Pacific Ocean on New Year's Eve. Tragically, this incident resulted in the loss of five crew members, and the ship was declared a total loss before being towed back to Japan.
Highlighting their commitment to cutting-edge safety technology, MOL reveals that Captain’s Eye AI systems, developed in Israel, have been widely deployed across various merchant ships and vessels globally. This proven technology is designed to detect abnormalities in both engine rooms and on decks. The rigorous testing of the AI system’s smoke detection capabilities, specifically conducted in the cargo holds of the car carrier Onyx Ace, demonstrated significant improvements, including the system's ability to detect even minimal amounts of smoke. Encouraged by these successful trials, MOL has decisively chosen to install the Captain’s Eye AI system across its car carrier fleet, underscoring the company's dedication to advancing safety protocols and securing the well-being of its vessels and crew.
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