In September 2019, shipping experts from around the world gathered at the IMO headquarters to discuss how to proceed on the topic of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS), at the first Intersessional Working Group (WG) on MASS, IMarEST informed.
The research project Prepare Ships, led by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, will develop a navigation system that foresees the positions of other ships through machine learning. This limits the risk of collisions and enables more efficient navigation. The project has recently received funding through the ‘European GNSS Agency’, GSA.
The US Coast Guard announced the availability of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-16 Change 2, “Use of Electronic Charts and Publications in Lieu of Paper Charts, Maps and Publications,” along with a Deregulatory Savings Analysis.
According to the Shipowners’ Club, with effect from 20 August 2019, under Regulation PM No. 7 of 2019, the Ministry of Transportation of The Republic of Indonesia has made it mandatory for ships sailing in Indonesian waters to install and activate an Automatic Identification System (AIS).
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.
As part of the Sea Traffic Management STM Validation project Costa Crociere, part of Carnival Corporation, incorporated Costa and Aida ships to exchange information with other actors, using STM supported standardised formats and interfaces. After verifying operations with these first ships, the rest of the Carnival Corporation fleet has now been added.
International maritime regulators expect that the establishment of safety rules for autonomous ships will be a lengthy process, despite the fact that researchers have advanced relevant technology, saying that robot ships could be a reality in the oceans in the next few years.
Massterly, a ship manager who will operate unmanned vessels via a manned Shore Control Center builds, aspires to see a more sustainable maritime transportation. The unmanned ships will be 100% electrically powered and the battery will be charged when the ship is at shore.
Wärtsilä revealed its new Navi-Planner voyage planning and optimisation solution during Nor-Shipping 2019. Developed by Transas, a Wärtsilä company, the new Navi-Planner utilizes the connected ECDIS. The new connectivity enables onboard voyage planning to be cut from 5 hours to 30min, and it also aims to provide better navigational safety standard for less experienced seafarers.
An autonomous boat has successfully conducted a cargo run from the UK to Belgium. The 12m-long SEA-KIT Maxlimer sailed from West Mersea to Oostende on May 6, carrying a box of oysters. In order to navigate safely in one of the busiest shipping lanes, it relied in various technologies. The sail lasted a total of 22 hours, as the ship can move slowly at only a few knots.
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