The 99th session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee concluded on 25 May, endorsing a framework for a regulatory scoping exercise, as work in progress, including preliminary definitions of autonomous ships and degrees of autonomy, as well as a methodology for conducting the exercise and a plan of work.
Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science has been granted a $1.25 million grant by the United States Office of Naval Research to research autonomous unmanned marine vehicle platforms for coastal surveillance, coastal surveys, target tracking and protection of at-sea assets.
Research and innovation bring the possibility of autonomy closer to realization and subsequently unmanned transports are about to enter the shipping industry. However there are some liability issues that need to be resolved.
Rolls-Royce and Finferries will develop strategies and solutions to improve safety and efficiency of marine operations by developing the technology for decision supporting systems and to demonstrate remote and autonomous ferry operations. The collaboration will consider a new research project, called Safer Vessel with Autonomous Navigation.
Saildrone received $60 million in Series B funding to improve its global fleet of wind-powered ocean sailing drones. “Saildrones” aim to provide high-resolution ocean data and monitor the state of the planet in real time. They are designed for long range long duration ocean data collection missions of up to 12 months.
The 99th session of IMO’s MSC has begun with discussions on how to proceed with a regulatory scoping exercise on autonomous vessels. MSC 99 is expected to touch on an extensive range of issues, including the human element, safety, security and protection of the marine environment, for different levels of autonomy.
Norwegian shipbuilder Havyard delivered the first of thirteen battery-powered ferries with automatic fjord crossing functionality at Norwegian transport conglomerate Fjord 1. The ferry ‘Bnr 132 MF Husavik’ was christened on 14 May in a ceremony at the yard in Leirvik in Sogn.
Rolls-Royce and French insurer AXA Corporate Solutions have signed a Letter of Intent to explore ways to bring a new offering to the marine market, utilising Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence systems and equipment and AXA’s risk analytics capabilities. The products will be addressed to current sailing and future autonomous vessels.
On May 16, the IMO will start is efforts on regulation of autonomous ships with a meeting in the Maritime Safety Committee. The Danish Maritime Authority noted that the global industry needs international regulation to facilitate the use of autonomous ships, and it is looking forward to discussing the way forward within the IMO.
Kongsberg Norcontrol signed an agreement with the Norwegian Coastal Administration for delivery, operations and maintenance of radars to the maritime traffic service. The agreement has a potential total value of up to NOK 250 million and a duration of up to eleven years. The agreement enables the technical extension of the maritime traffic service area’s service areas in the following years,
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