Innovative technology: A pre-analysis on autonomous ships

This report is a pre-investigation, the purpose of which is to describe the potentials of autonomous ships, on the basis of international activities of direct relevance to the investigation. It briefly summarises how to define various levels of autonomy. From the lowest level with completely manual operation, where the navigating officer gets his information from electronic charts and where he gets information about his own position, course and speed as well as an overview from radar that also presents other ships’ course and speed; over various levels of decision-support, where automatics take care of still more tasks; to levels of actual autonomy.

In cooperation with the DTU, the Danish Maritime Authority has developed a pre-analysis that is intended as an inspiration for possible projects that may support the development of autonomous ships.

The next step is continued cooperation between the DTU and the Danish Maritime Authority on an electronic lookout project. Sensor technology opens up for new possibilities as regards ships’ design, arrangement and mode of operation and, consequently, the project will, inter alia, concern testing, safety, the handling of defects, etc.

Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Brian Mikkelsen:
“I have asked the Danish Maritime Authority to continue its dialogue with the industry and the users to clarify whether there are projects that could be launched in the near future in order to strengthen our knowledge in the area and help put Denmark on the nautical charts in terms of autonomous technology.”

The pre-analysis focuses primarily on rather small types of ships engaged in near-coastal voyages, such as small island ferries, tugboats, barges, supply and service vessels for drilling platforms and wind farms as well as autonomous surface vessels for servicing underwater and drone units for offshore inspections.

In addition, the analysis points to several areas in which development projects and pilot projects are to be made to help get a safe platform for autonomous vessels at sea.

 

Click on below image to download full report.

 

Source: Danish Maritime Authority (DMA)

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