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Automation & Seafarers: The end of a profession, or its evolution?

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.

Robotic arm for autonomous marine operations

Marine-i, the EU funded program set up to boost marine innovation in Cornwall, awarded Submarine Technology Ltd (STL), a specialist marine technology company, with a grant to proceed with the construction of a futuristic robotic arm. The arm is a ship-based multi-axis robotic arm for autonomous operations.

AI and automation to boost seafarers’ job

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.

Company develops auto-navigation, auto-docking robotic boat

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.

Watch: Sea Hunter autonomously voyages to Hawaii

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.

First definition for automation in inland navigation

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 to allow remote pilotage

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.

Crew workforce: Future trends and challenges

As modern control systems and autonomous shipping modules perform more tasks and there is massive disruption of maritime jobs, a wider array of education and skills-building are required to meet future demands. There are two uncertainties though: Will well-prepared seafarers be able to keep up in the race with autonomous systems? And which will be the most important requirements for ship operators to survive the maritime workforce of the future?

Autonomous ships will not replace conventional cargo ships, report says

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.

Smart shipping drives change in the industry

Digitalization is a constant theme in shipping right now; smart technologies are already making a great impact on the industry. 2018 was an interesting year for shipping, with major developments in the field of digitalization and further steps toward the so-called smart shipping era.

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The sulphur cap is less than a year away and with most vessels choosing compliant fuel, do you expect to see a spike in incidents and accidents related to the switch over?

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