Kongsberg Makes Strides In Autonomous Shipping With “Chief-to-Shore” Approval

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  • Kongsberg Maritime, a Norwegian maritime technology leader, has received a crucial approval for its autonomous shipping project.
  • This approval, granted by classification society DNV and the Norwegian Maritime Authority, allows Kongsberg to move the chief engineer role from onboard vessels to a shore-based control center.

Challenges and Resistance

While this represents a significant step forward, the project faces resistance from some within the shipping industry who raise concerns about safety, regulations, and potential job losses. An-Magritt Ryste, Director of Next Generation Shipping at Kongsberg Maritime, acknowledges the industry’s conservatism as a key factor in the slow progress. However, she emphasizes Kongsberg’s proactive approach in working towards achieving full regulatory approval.

Current Stage and Expectations

Kongsberg is confident that its autonomous shipping system is a functional reality and is currently undergoing testing. Full approval for the “chief-to-shore” functionality is anticipated later in 2024. Kongsberg is collaborating with DNV, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the Norwegian Maritime Authority to address regulatory hurdles, standardization needs, and legal terminology.

Benefits of Shore-Based Control

A single shore-based technician can manage critical tasks on up to three vessels simultaneously, allowing for faster intervention if an issue arises. Remote support for maintenance, troubleshooting, and expertise on new alternative fuels can potentially enhance safety and efficiency across the global shipping fleet, according to DNV’s Jarle Coll Blomhoff.

Future Outlook

Kongsberg’s “chief-to-shore” approval is seen as a stepping stone towards fully autonomous vessels. This technology has the potential to improve safety, efficiency, and operational management within the maritime industry.

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Source: Ship Technology