Speaking about autonomous ships, Pia Meling, sales and marketing manager in Massterly, noted that they will have various degrees of operate without human interaction. From only decision support with full crew on board, to completely unmanned ships.
She explained that fully autonomous ships should not have any people on board. But, there should be someone on land and could intervene. However, the ship is designed to make its own decisions.
Autonomous vessels will also save on operating expenses, as currently crew costs are large, especially for ships that travel short distances. Moreover, the environment will also be benefited by the use of electric power.
In addition, Ms. Meling said that automation in shipping will provide more flexibility, with those working from land having a better working day. For example, a captain can work on land, work shifts and go home after the end of the working day.
Another important factor is that human errors will be reduced, as Massterly calculates that about 75-80% of the accidents at sea are because of human failure.
What is more, Ms. Meling believes that in 10 years, vessels will be running on hydrogen. The boats will be sailing on short distances with battery operation. But she added that in 10 years, boats that operate on longer distances will use hydrogen instead of electricity.
Moreover, Kristin H. Holth, who heads DNB's Ocean Industries, stated that digitization, automation and new technology will benefit the ocean industries greatly. Furthermore, more actors in the industry are expected to focus more on finding sustainable solutions.
The fact is that more companies in maritime have the environment as a priority nowadays. This can be profitable both for the operation of the companies, but also for the environment.