Few logistics trends have generated as much hype as the Internet of Things (IoT), that web of connected sensors that allows devices from trucks and forklifts to inventory and pallets to "talk" to each other and share data across the supply chain.
Now, engineers at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. are looking to extend the IoT to the high seas. The South Korea-based shipbuilder recently signed a deal to create an "ecosystem for smart ships" with partners SK Shipping, Intel, Microsoft, the Ulsan Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, and the Daejeon Center for Creative Economy & Innovation.
With a goal of enabling safe ship operation and improving crew well-being, the collaborators hope to develop "ship service software" and implement it as early as 2019 to allow for ballast tank inspection, remote medical treatment and services for crews, virtual reality training, automatic voyage information reporting, and maintenance for key equipment.
The deal follows Hyundai's announcement in May that it would team up with consultant Accenture to create a smart ship system called OceanLink, serving the shipbuilding, shipping, and onshore-logistics sectors with a network of sensors and analytics software that can monitor a ship's real-time status and condition, including data on weather, location, onboard equipment, and cargo.