Nowadays, technological advancements, including automation, are making transportation more complex and sophisticated, which undoubtedly will bring changes as well as opportunities.
Vessels could be assisted by any type of technology which involves automation. With the implementation of this technologies,we are looking at a big improvement regarding speed control, fuel saving or security, says an article published on FONASBA website.
Impact of the autonomous shipping
Some of the greater impact of the autonomous shipping will be as follows:
- The increase in operational safety of vessels: most of maritime accidents (75% -96%) are caused by human error as per Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty in its Global Claims Review: Liability in Focus study, which means that introducing a full autonomous or semi-autonomous vessel may help reducing these number of accidents.
- The reduction of crew size: as crew is reduced, that involves some fixed costs which the owner will safe, cost which will not be needed to be paid like the salary, insurance or even food supplies.
- The increasement in the efficiency on the energy, it is a matter of time that beside autonomous vessels we will be facing as well fully-electric and zero-emission vessels, helping to reduce pollution all around the world.
- The increasement in data collection which will help at the same time regarding supply chain connectivity. Autonomous ships will be able to collect voyage data through their “autonomous systems” making this information a way of communication with supply partners about their shipments, or regarding optimization of the future routes.
Which factors can enable or delay highly autonomous ship development?
I have taken the above chart that I believe it makes a really good summary of which are that factors that could enable or delay the implementation or development of autonomous ships.
Basically because of the current situation that we are living in the whole world regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, the costs of developing and deploy plus the lack of economy benefit that will bring, I believe that it will take more than expected, as we are going to face an economic recession that has nothing to do with the one experienced in 2008.
Of course, the regulations and governance has to do a lot as well, and we can see the big impact that autonomous car law regulations are having.
Autonomous applied to security
Autonomous can be also applied to security, and I am talking about machines doing our jobs, for example: drones or UAVs. Lately they have been used in so many fields like search and rescue, pollution monitoring and even delivering pieces, and so on.
However, the biggest benefit has come from owners or charterers in order to optimize vessel´s inspection, drones doing subaquatic inspections or even survey operations.
Some classification societies, like DNV GL or Lloyd´s Register are already working with both UAVs and drones as their survey methodologies for some type of vessels. While DNV GL confirms that they have carried out these surveys in different kind of vessel like oil tankers, chemical tankers, bulk carriers, ore carriers, or container carriers (GL, 2018) Lloyd´s Register does not specify regarding it.
- Technological advancements, including automation, are making transportation more complex and sophisticated.
- The implementation of this technologies,we are looking at a big improvement regarding speed control, fuel saving or security.
- Autonomous can be also applied to security, and I am talking about machines doing our jobs, for example: drones or UAVs.
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