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Autonomous Maritime Vssels
There has been significant speculation
and research into the feasibility and implementation of autonomous vessels. Several
prototypes are being developed and tested in various industry segments. The IMO
has defined 4 levels of autonomy:
with automated processes and decision support: Seafarers are on board to
operate and control shipboard systems and functions. Some operations may
controlled ship with seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and
operated from another location, but seafarers are on board.
controlled ship without seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and
operated from another location. There are no seafarers on board.
autonomous ship: The operating system of the ship is able to make
decisions and determine actions by itself.
The International Maritime Organization
has recently defined Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship (MASS) as a ship which,
to a varying degree, can operate independently of human interaction. While autonomous vessels present a wealth of
opportunities for the maritime industry, they also present a significant number
of challenges related to marine safety and human factors.
The Committee on Marine Safety and Human Factors (AW040)
encourages research into the potential impacts and implementation challenges of
autonomous vessels. Anticipated research topic areas include but are not
limited to, the following subjects:
The safety ramifications of mixing manned and
unmanned vessels in commercial maritime operations
The safety ramifications of mixing unmanned
vessels with unlicensed mariners (e.g. recreational, fishing vessels) in mixed
The economic and socio-economic impacts of
reducing or eliminating crew members from vessels
The technological requirements for the entire
marine transportation system necessary to ensure safe operation of autonomous
vessels in maritime commerce.
Necessary changes to the current Regulatory
regime in order to accommodate autonomous vessel operations.
Cyber security and system integrity requirements
to ensure safe operations of autonomous vessels.
The safety ramifications of using Maritime
Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) as a viable alternative mode of transportation
that redirects containerized freight from highways and rail to waterways.
This research could help identify and address emerging risks in the marine Transportation System raised by the development and deployment of Autonomous Vessels.
|Sponsoring Committee:||AW040, Marine Safety and Human Factors
|Research Period:||12 - 24 months|
|Index Terms:||Ships, Autonomous vehicles, Remote control, Automation, |
Data and Information Technology
Operations and Traffic Management
Safety and Human Factors
Vehicles and Equipment
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