Living in the digital age, the way that a voyage is planned is easier and quicker since all data and information are available on demand, with just one click, and all updates are introduced immediately upon receipt.There are no doubts that the benefits of e navigation in respect of time and effort during Appraisal and Planning stage, are beyond expectations for navigators.
During his presentation at 2019 SAFETY4SEA Hamburg Forum, Capt. Mark Bull, Director, Trafalgar Navigation, gave an insight concerning e-navigation, pointing out that we are on the threshold of a major change in our industry; it has already started and it is now picking up speed.
Concerning SEA-KIT International Ltd’s autonomous vessel that sailed from the UK to Belgium, BBC contacted various industry stakeholders discussing the advantages of autonomous shipping, while also the dangers behind it, keeping in mind that many are those who support that automation in the shipping industry may jeopardise seafarers’ jobs.
Keppel Singmarine, Keppel Offshore & Marine’s subsidiary, announced the development of an autonomous tug that will operate by Keppel Smit Towage. It is expected to be one of Singapore’s first autonomous vessels when the project is completed in 4Q 2020.
Wärtsilä, an advanced maritime technologies company, has published a 360° experience video that shows the successful testing of its automated dock-to-dock solution. Up to now, the prototype has been tested with small vessels and ferries that travel short distances. Yet, the technology can be used for vessels that ‘repeatedly sail the same journey’, such as containers and tankers.
Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipyard delivered the world’s first intelligent very large ore carrier (iVLOC) to China Merchants Energy Shipping Company. ‘Pacific Vision’ features an integration platform, a smart navigation decision support system, a ship energy efficiency management and optimization system, and smart-vessel operation and maintenance system.
Technology concerning autonomous and unmanned vessels is under construction aiming to create the next generation of autonomous vessels for the commercial survey market. Partners signed a joint development agreement in order to create the future autonomous survey ships.
Wilhelmsen Ship Management has signed two agreements that will establish the operational and regulatory framework in autonomous shipping. The first agreement is about the rise of a safety management system, which is called “safety management system agreement”. Whereas the second one focuses on the development of future competence, called “competence agreement”.
Research and innovation bring the possibility of autonomy closer to realization and subsequently unmanned transports are about to enter the shipping industry. However there are some liability issues that need to be resolved.
Seafarers Stories: Capt. Dimitrios Liakakos, Master27/03/2020
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