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Samsung Heavy banks on 'crewless' ships to capsize Chinese rivals

South Korean builder looks to navigate headwinds as industry consolidates

Samsung Heavy Industries' automated ship allows for remote operation and monitoring, as shown here in an October test. (Photo courtesy of Samsung Heavy)

SEOUL/TOKYO -- Samsung Heavy Industries is racing to bring crewless, autonomous ships to market next year in a bid to end years of losses suffered in a relentless price war with Chinese rivals.

The company has made strides toward that goal in recent months. In October, a 38-meter vessel featuring Samsung Heavy's autonomous sailing system successfully completed a trial at sea, traveling about 10 km one way. The ship was not steered by anyone aboad and was only monitored by a control center 250 km away.

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