As the IMO is starting discussions regarding a two-year review of the regulatory framework governing the operation of autonomous ships, Nautilus International called operators to take note of the findings of a survey of almost 1,000 maritime professionals carried out by the Nautilus Federation of more than 20 seafaring unions.
According to the study, the main key points are the following:
- 84% of maritime professionals consider automation as a threat to seafaring jobs
- 85% believe unmanned remotely controlled ships are a threat to safety at sea.
- More than 60% of survey respondents said that automation has the potential to make the shipping industry safer.
Regarding the last point, shipping industry will become safer with a ‘hybrid’ way, enhancing onboard operations, helping to reduce fatigue and excessive workloads. A hybrid way will minimise paperwork and bureaucracy, help with predictive and preventive maintenance, provide additional support for decision-making, and reduceangerous or repetitive tasks.
The seafarer representatives in the study also called for:
- A focus on human element requirements;
- Shipboard and shore-based personnel;
- Construction and engineering standards for enhanced redundancy and reliability;
- Legal implications regarding jurisdiction and responsibility and accountability for remotely-controlled operations.
The papers also urged for caution to ensure an appropriate regulatory framework.
Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson, Mark Dickinson stated:
Properly introduced, automation and digital technologies could transform shipping in a positive way – making it safer and more efficient – but managed poorly, they could undermine safety and erode the essential base of maritime skills, knowledge and expertise.
You can see further details in the PDF herebelow