New Consortium Formed to Study Autonomous Shipping


  • Consortium of around 20 maritime businesses formed
  • Consortium will work within the framework of the Smart Shipping Challenge 2017
  • Evaluate the requirements for economical and safe navigation in shipping environments

A recent report by the Shipping technology magazine highlights an initiative that the Dutch consortium has taken to study the technical possibilities for autonomous ships and build them as a technical demonstration.

About the Consortium:

The consortium has 20 participants from the maritime businesses and academic research institutions, third party service providers and the Dutch government itself to explore the future of shipping industry. Also, the consortium functions under the framework of the Smart Shipping Challenge 2017, put forth by Government of the Netherlands.

Why is it formed?

This consortium represents a joint industry project (JIP) aimed to optimize marine operation costs and safety, and provide a reliable shipping experience as quoted by the Netherlands Maritime Technology (NMT), a Dutch maritime technology representative and a trade association of 400 plus members.

The primary task for this consortium includes,

  • Evaluation of the requirements for safe navigation in shipping environments by autonomous vessels.
  • Examine the possibility of using existing automation technologies to pave way for ‘smart shipping’.
  • To demonstrate these technologies in simulator and real-time environment.

On going works:

As a two-year applied research programme this consortium seeks to find technical solutions with regard to autonomous shipping requirements.

NMT innovation director Marnix Krikke said: “Delft University of Technology, MARIN, along with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) are in active participation to share their expertise in the applied research for autonomous vessels”

Major Collaborators:

The major collaborators involved in this JIP as listed by Marnix Krikke are,

  • The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
  • The Dutch Ministry of Defence
  • The Dutch pilot sector
  • Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz
  • The Shipping and Transport College
  • Mainport Rotterdam University

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Source: Ship Technology,


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