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AVIKUS TECHNOLOGY AND PARTNERSHIPS
The growth of Avikus, HD Hyundai’s autonomous navigation in-house startup, has been explosive. Propelled by an innovative edge and a commitment to expand the industry by lowering barriers to boating, Avikus is making huge waves in the industry. As they prepare to take their recreational autonomous solution to market, many may be wondering what’s under the hood, and what exactly is powering all these forward strides. The answer: first-of-its-kind technology, along with an expanding roster of partnerships.
The Technology Behind Avikus
Avikus uses deceptively simple components to create powerful results. With just a series of sensors and the world’s first deep learning-based navigation system, Avikus can transform any vessel into an autonomous one. Depending on the level of autonomy desired, the equipment necessary will vary, making for a scalable product.
The technology began its life as HiNAS, or the Hyundai Intelligent Navigation Assistant System. An AI navigation assistance system that was installed on commercial vessels, this has evolved to become the components of NeuBoat – the autonomous level 2 solution for recreational vessels. Leveraging the power of the HiNAS system, NeuBoat contains two technological segments: the Navigation Assistant System (NAS) and the Docking Assistant System (DAS).
Both comprised of a series of sensors including LiDAR and cameras, NAS and DAS employ a deep learning and sensor fusion algorithm to allow for seamless, powerful performance. At its most basic level, NAS allows a boat to recognize and assess on-the-water situations in real time and without human intervention, focusing on object detection and collision warnings. On a higher level, NAS creates and maintains an optimal route for safe travel using GPS data, as well as providing easy navigation assistance through a modern and intuitive UI similar to those adopted on premium electric vehicles. At the top tier, it navigates the vessel autonomously through Avikus’s autopilot and engine interface units.
DAS applies an integrated cognitive system to ease the docking process, using a six-camera system that provides a birds’ eye view around the vessel to assist with tight-quarters maneuvering. The standard version of the system allows for distance guidance and collision alarms, as well as a 3D surround view and the ability to pan around or pick camera perspectives to display. Using Avikus’s autopilot and engine interface units, the premium level will dock the boat autonomously. Most systems require the boat to be on land to calibrate, while NeuBoat can be quickly and easily calibrated on the water.
Expanding Ripples – Working with Raymarine
Building on its technological base, Avikus has built a partnership with Raymarine, global leaders in high-performance marine electronics for recreational boating. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the 2022 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, agreeing to cooperate on the integration of NeuBoat into Raymarine’s elite navigational products and to work together on exploring the future of autonomous leisure boating and joint development of same.
In February of 2023, at the Discover Boating Miami International Boat Show, Avikus and Raymarine inked a Strategic Co-operation Agreement, promising to exclusively cooperate on the development and launch of NeuBoat and work closely together to develop and launch a full product family of autonomous leisure boat systems designed for different boat sizes, types and uses.
Now, Raymarine’s technology is an integral component of Avikus’s offerings, including their range of Axiom chartplotters. In addition, Raymarine is allowing Avikus access to their testing facilities, and the companies are working on using radar to increase their sensor range.
Together, Avikus and Raymarine are in pursuit of a radical change in the recreational boating industry. Both companies believe that autonomy will enhance and ease the boating experience for everyone, lowering barriers for buying a boat and helping to grow and diversify the market.
Avikus Looks to the Future
Moving forward, Avikus is set to continue expanding and growing, integrating their solution into the recreational market. Before long, more new boats than not will be offered with the option of Avikus’s technology on board to enhance and improve the boating experience.