TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) Thursday (Nov 08) announced the introduction of the Vessel View VR, a virtual reality system that allows for virtual visits on the VLCC Suzukasan (delivered on October 12, 2018).

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Introduces Vessel View VR on VLCC Suzukasan

This is the second vessel, following the car carrier Beluga Ace to feature this innovative technology.

"Vessel View VR" combines "VR Solution," developed by NURVE, with 360oC degree photos and videos taken at various areas onboard.

The Suzukasan can transport about 300,000 tons of crude oil in a single voyage. It takes a long time to visit every area on this huge vessel-339.5m long and 60m wide. As a vessel carrying dangerous goods, safety rules are strict, particularly on deck, where any open flame and even electronic devices are prohibited. That makes it all the more difficult to keep records of everything during an in-person visit. In addition, there are a fewer opportunities to visit the ship because it plies extremely long voyage.

Use of "Vessel View VR", which enables a virtual ship visit "anytime and anywhere," not only eases the limits of conventional ship visits, but also allows for safe ship visits, even on vessels carrying dangerous goods.

   Restrictions in Conventional Visits  Vessel View VR
 Capacity of visitors per visit The number of visitors a vessel can accept  In principle, no limit, assuming visitors have an internet connection and proper log-in privilege
 Arrangement for ship visit An individual application for each visitor must be submitted ahead of time to the chief customs inspector  
 Required time for ship visit A round trip to calling port and physically boarding the vessel  
 Timing of ship visit Limited to a short time during port calls and while in a dockyard, and subject to weather conditions  
 Location of ship visit Mainly at calling ports  
 Communication during ship visit Noise from machinery in engine room and so on can make it difficult for visitors to listen to explanations  
 Safety during ship visit Necessity to ensure the safety of visitors during ship visits, as well as the safety of the vessels, crewmembers, and loaded cargoes.  
 Burden of ship side Onboard visits add more tasks to the workload, in addition to normal operations such as loading/ unloading, preparation for voyage, and ship inspections  

Source: MOL