For autonomous shipping to gain regulatory and societal acceptance, this technology must be at least as safe as traditional ships, said the UK P&I Club in a new paper. A successful approach to change would be to develop regulations in tandem with technological advancements, always maintaining the focus on safety.
Be Cyber Aware at Sea published its August Phish and Ships edition focusing on the matter of ship automation that has seen a rapid development in recent years. Digital Trends’ Dyllan Furness discusses the future of automation in the shipping industry and whether the sector is able to cope with it.
As the Britannia P&I Club informed, the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation are introducing a new regulation which comes into effect on 20 August 2019 requiring that all Indonesian and foreign-flagged ships sailing in Indonesian waters install and activate Automatic Identification System (AIS).
US-based autonomous technology company Sea Machines Robotics and the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) have joined forces to showcase how Sea Machines’ autonomous technology can be used to increase the safety and efficiency of marine oil spill response operations.
Concerning SEA-KIT International Ltd’s autonomous vessel that sailed from the UK to Belgium, BBC contacted various industry stakeholders discussing the advantages of autonomous shipping, while also the dangers behind it, keeping in mind that many are those who support that automation in the shipping industry may jeopardise seafarers’ jobs.
Alpha Ori’s SMARTShip received Type Approval from Class NK. A mid size gas carrier ‘Hourai Maru’, delivered on 11th March, 2019 was the first ship certified with a ClassNK approved SMARTShip. This Internet of Things platform aims to enable the on board operation of various systems with different degrees of autonomy. It is already installed on over 30 ships, while another 60 vessels are at various stages of the set-up process.
As part of the Sea Traffic Management STM Validation project Costa Crociere, part of Carnival Corporation, incorporated Costa and Aida ships to exchange information with other actors, using STM supported standardised formats and interfaces. After verifying operations with these first ships, the rest of the Carnival Corporation fleet has now been added.
In 2018, the Shipowners’ Club launched a dedicated autonomous vessel P&I policy. The Club consulted owners, operators and manufacturers of autonomous ships to make sure it had the right cover in place so that operators can focus on their operations knowing they are appropriately covered if anything should go wrong.
China delivered its first smart very large crude carrier (VLCC) in Dalian, on June 22. The VLCC is called ‘New Journey,’ and is the world’s first intelligent VLCC with a loading capacity of 308,000 tons. The vessel was delivered to China Merchants Energy Shipping Company, after successful trials were conducted in May.
International maritime regulators expect that the establishment of safety rules for autonomous ships will be a lengthy process, despite the fact that researchers have advanced relevant technology, saying that robot ships could be a reality in the oceans in the next few years.
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