MASSPorts is a network to address the challenges and achieve alignment of standards for the trials and operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) in ports. The network’s objectives are to:

  1. Develop detailed guidelines and conditions for MASS trials in port – MASSPorts should endeavour to agree on conditions for MASS trials within their ports, which are in line with IMO’s interim guidelines for MASS trials.
  2. Establish common terminology, form and standards of communication, ship reporting and data exchange to enhance inter-operability of systems across different ports – International transit of vessels involves calls at different ports where vessels interact with many stakeholders and systems. Vessels and ports must be equipped with infrastructure that have common terminology, form and standards for seamless operation.
  3. Facilitate port-to-port MASS trials to emulate the international nature of shipping with the objective of validating the proposed guidelines and conditions for MASS trials, and the inter-operability of port-based systems. This allows the network to identify and address additional challenges of operating MASS at various ports.

Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, stated on the occasion:

Autonomous navigation is an important part of our plans to be a future-ready port. We see MASS having the potential to enhance navigational safety and increase productivity

The network also aspires to benefit from the participating countries. For example, Japan has accelerated the development of autonomous technology, focusing on three types of autonomous technologies:

  • autonomous navigation/collision avoidance;
  • remote control navigation;
  • and automated berthing.

As for Norway, it has played a key role in the establishment of three test areas for autonomous solutions in Norwegian waters and the establishment of the Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships.

Finally, Korea will invest around $130 million between 2020 and 2025 to develop autonomous navigation systems for MASS and applying it to actual vessels.