The shipping industry is experiencing a rapid development in the smart sector, mostly in automation; Thus, theses changes demand updated and relevance guidance for those owning and operating Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).
The Maritime UK Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group (MASRWG) published the first code of practice to global industry-wide acclaim in November 2017, with the second version following in November 2018.
In addition, UK Maritime highlights that all organisations adapting to the Code should be in line with the following guidelines:
- To observe a general obligation to display responsible and ethical behaviour in relation to the design, manufacture, distribution, operation, maintenance and final disposal of their systems.
- To encourage and support communication and dialogue with regulators and relevant authorities.
- To follow the principles set out by this Code to the best of their abilities.
Also, UK Maritime highlights that
Users of this Code will maintain healthy and secure workplaces and promote safe working practices during all stages of the MASS design, build, maintenance and operation lifecycle.
The updated guide also provides a summary of today's current position in automation on Inland Waterways in Europe and is included as a reference to reflect the increasing interdependence of vessels operating between inland waterways and other sea areas.
Automation holds a vital role in the maritime sector, as many are the interested parties launching new technologies, boosting their fleets and improving operations through technology.
Thus, automated navigation includes a variety of technical solutions and addresses cases ranging from a simple navigation assistance to a fully automated navigation.
Although technology synergies are expected with the maritime sector, CCNR has emphasized the specificities of inland water transport that should be taken into account, such as:
- The composition of crews and Navigation in enclosed and restricted conditions
- The passage of locks
- The height of the water level and under bridges
- The manoeuvrability of vessels.
In light for the code's launch, Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK commented
Though-leadership in transformational technologies is something that makes the UK a compelling proposition as a global maritime centre and through Maritime 2050 we're working with government to strengthen that lead further still.
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