As automation is becoming an integral part of everyday life, the shipping industry makes no exception. Mr. Dimitrios Lyrakos, Chief Executive Officer, ASCOT Consulting LTD, describes how automation will affect the maritime sector, saying that the number of seafarers will decline, but these changes will create new job opportunities as well.
On the occasion of the Mobile World Congress 2019 this week, Stockholm-based telecommunications company Ericsson is showcasing a Smart Vessel industrial use case – operating remotely on commercial 4G broadband. The use case is a joint development of Ericsson, China Mobile and OceanAlpha.
Artificial intelligence and automation will improve the human’s place in the near future. Mainly, Jeremy Bogaisky, Deputy Editor at Forbes, quotes that autonomous and remote-control shipping is sure to decrease cost of consumer goods and enhance safety for passenger ferries and cruise liners.
Yanmar is developing technologies for robotic boats and auto-docking, technologies that are expected to see service in operations in dangerous waters, maritime surveys, or smart fisheries. The autonomous piloting technology involved in the robotic boat was developed into an auto-docking system that can be integrated into fishing vessels or marine pleasure craft. This technology is not just for commercial vessels, but may be integrated into Yanmar vessels to reduce the hassle of docking and make boating a more enjoyable experience.
The Finnish Geospatial Research Institute and Aalto University will cooperate with maritime solution providers Fleetrange and Tallink Grupp on a project to develop autonomous shipping. Mainly, the project’s goal is to create a system that automatically identifies and recognizes objects, such as navigation aids and other vessels around the ship, improving situational awareness.
MIT engineers have now developed an algorithm that lets AUVs weigh the risks and potential rewards of exploring an unknown region. Specifically, if a vehicle tasked with identifying underwater oil seeps approached a steep, rocky trench, an algorithm could assess the reward level, and the risk level, if it were to take a path through the trench.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) accomplished a full autonomous navigation of Sea Hunter, medium displacement unmanned surface vessel. Sea Hunter autonomously navigated from San Diego to Pears Harbor, Hawaii and returned without crew onboard, expect few boardings by personnel from an escort vessel to check electrical and propulsion systems.
As with maritime or road transport, technological developments about automated navigation come under scrutiny by the inland navigation sector. During its meeting in December, the CCNR adopted a first international definition of levels of automation in inland navigation. This definition aims to lead to a clearer understanding of automated navigation as a whole.
Finland will allow remote pilotage subject to authorisation in public channels and in the Saimaa Canal lease area, that have been marked as routes requiring pilotage. The Pilotage Act will now allow the pilot to perform his/her duties somewhere else than onboard the vessel. Finland proposed on 17 January 2019 that the Pilotage Act be adopted and is now expected to enter into force on 1 February 2019.
On 15 January the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the World Maritime University published a flagship report called ‘Transport 2040: Automation Technology Employment – the Future of Work’. The report analyzes how the global transport industry will change because of automation and advanced technologies.
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