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Servowatch Systems: Much confusion surrounding autonomous vessels

Heybridge: Much of the debate about autonomous ships sweeping through the industry is off base, argues the CEO of a UK tech firm today.

Wayne Ross, heads up Servowatch Systems, a marine automation company, which is a subsidiary of India’s Larsen and Toubro group.

“In terms of marine future operations, autonomous is a widely misused word,” Ross says, adding: “It is sometimes used to describe what are really, merely remotely operated marine drones. In our view this is not true autonomy.”

Ross sites the work Servowatch has done in relation to situational awareness and security systems for the authorities at the sailing events for the London Olympics 2012.

“This we believe has the some of the required attributes to allow a vessel true autonomy,” he says, listing a vessel’s ability to undertake and complete a mission, on its own volition without outside intervention, keeping itself and other seafaring units safe either as an isolated autonomous vessel or part of a pod or swarm of autonomous vessels tasked independently or collectively to complete a mission.

Servowatch offers alarm monitoring and control systems, integrated platform management systems, integrated bridge systems, equipment health monitoring systems and marine security systems.


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