OperationsTech

Autonomous shipping: ‘It’s not if, it’s when’

The Rolls-Royce led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) yesterday published a whitepaper to coincide with its presentations at the Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium 2016 in Amsterdam. The whitepaper outlines the project’s vision of how remote and autonomous shipping will become a reality.

Speaking at the symposium Oskar Levander, Rolls-Royce, vice president of innovation – marine, said: “This is happening. It’s not if, it’s when. The technologies needed to make remote and autonomous ships a reality exist. The AAWA project is testing sensor arrays in a range of operating and climatic conditions in Finland and has created a simulated autonomous ship control system which allows the behaviour of the complete communication system to be explored. We will see a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade.”

The AAWA whitepaper explores the research carried out to date on the business case for autonomous applications, the safety and security implications of designing and operating remotely operated ships, the legal and regulatory dimensions and the existence and readiness of a supplier network to deliver commercially applicable products in the short to medium term.

The tests of sensor arrays are being carried out aboard Finferries 65 metre double ended ferry, the Stella, which operates between Korpo and Houtskär. ESL Shipping is helping explore the implications of remote and autonomous ships for the short sea cargo sector.

The full whitepaper can be downloaded by clicking here.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

Comments

  1. First chance someone gets in international waters they should board her and take her as abandoned and claim salvage… Good luck with that one in international law…

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