Several discussions see automation completely transforming the industry in the next 30 years, while others seem less convinced of a major reform. Our special ‘Smart Watch’ column is asking global experts to provide feedback on the following question: What will the ship of 2050 look like?
Wärtsilä discusses the importance of connectivity when onboard, as the idea on being in the middle of the ocean sometimes comes with the essence of danger and loneliness. Despite cruise ships and ferries that transfer people, the overall fleet isn’t equipped with high-tech features to boost seafarers’ connectivity.
MIT’s fleet of robotic boats has been updated with new capabilities to “shapeshift,” by autonomously disconnecting and reassembling into a variety of configurations, to form floating structures in Amsterdam’s many canals. The autonomous boats are being developed as part of the ongoing “Roboat” project between MIT and the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions.
The Port of Hamburg is currently testing the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles (ASV), which can offer a number of advantages for hydrography. ASVs support the conventional sounding work of surveying vessels and can reach areas difficult to access.
As a part of its cooperative agreement with the US Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD), Sea Machines Robotics announced that it has successfully demonstrated its autonomous systems on August 21. The on-water demonstrations took place on board the world’s first autonomous spill response vessel; a Vigor/Kvichak Marine Industries-built skimmer boat, o.
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.
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.
One Sea coordinator DIMECC and the European Space Agency signed a Memorandum of Intent, aiming to bring together leading exponents of autonomous ship technology. The agreement aspires to encourage the development of space-based applications to analyse, enable and deploy maritime digitalisation and autonomy using latest generation connectivity.
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.
The IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held its 101st session from June 5 to 14, 2019. After its conclusion, the meeting decided on many important issues during this session. Among others, these include fuel quality and safety, maritime autonomous surface ships, and the approval and adoption of various instruments.
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