New Guidelines For Autonomous Surface Vessels And Remotely Operated Vessels

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Leading international ship classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), has published Guidelines on Remotely Operated Vessels and Autonomous Surface Vessels, reports Xinde Marine News.

About the new guidelines  

The focus of the high-level Guidelines is on providing a broad framework/ philosophy for stakeholders involved in design, construction and testing of such vessels with varying levels of autonomy.

These Guidelines cover design philosophy, risk assessment, system requirements including cyber resilience, network architecture, data & software assurance. A separate chapter focuses on requirements of Remote Control Centre which plays a critical role in monitoring and control of such vessels.

Autonomous controls 

Autonomous controls are aimed at progressive levels of delegation of decision making and control execution functions normally carried out by the operator, to a computer system. 

Five levels of technological autonomy have been defined in the Guidelines.

Level 1: The system provides decision support for essential vessel systems.  Decision making and control execution is by the operator

Level 2: In addition to level 1 capability, machinery and navigational systems can be remotely monitored and controlled.

Level 3: In addition to Level 2 capability, the system can select best alternative to initiate control action when permitted by the operator.

Level 4:  In addition to Level 3 capability, the system can initiate a control action. The system waits for predetermined time before executing the action.

Level 5:  In addition to Level 4 capability, the system can select the best alternative and execute in autonomous mode.

In all levels of autonomy, the Operator can intervene in an emergency. These levels of autonomy will cater to the diverse industry segments based on usage requirements.

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Source: Xinde Maritime News

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