ClassNK has begun joint investigative research with Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. on risk assessment of autonomous ships. This aims to ensure safety of autonomous ships, as a safety evaluation program is underway in Japan.
A shift towards ship autonomy is seen as a promising way to improve safety by preventing human error related to ship maneuvering and working conditions by reducing the workload of crew members. In this context, and with the implementation of demonstration projects and development of the guidelines led by the government, a framework for safety evaluation is in progress in Japan.
As a verification body for ensuring ship safety, ClassNK conducts research and development for the safety evaluation and setting standards for autonomous operation technology, and is also involved in efforts by the government, research institutes, corporates, etc. related to such technology from a safety and technology standpoint.
Therefore, the joint investigative research on the risk assessment of autonomous ships began as the above guidelines mention risk assessment as one of the points to be considered for ensuring the safety of autonomous ships.
The research will leverage knowledge from Sompo Japan’s experience on risks associated with ship operation and management based on underwriting ship insurance, as well as the knowledge on risk assessment for the practical application of autonomous vehicles cultivated by SOMPO Risk Management Inc.
The partners began their research in February 2021 and aim to announce the results within 2022 and utilize them in their own businesses.