New report on the human impact of autonomous ships published by IMarEST

In a major piece of research, perhaps one of the most detailed of its kind to be undertaken into the potential human impact of autonomous vessels to date, the IMarEST’s Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships Special Interest Group sought to gauge the potential impact of self-governing ships and plot out a new course for the shipping industry’s valued workforce.

Autonomous technologies could create a competitive advantage for shipping companies but adoption will vary significantly between market segments. This was one conclusion reached in an industry-wide investigation conducted by the IMarEST’s Marine Autonomous Surface Ships special interest group (MASS-SIG). An initial survey went on to inform a roundtable discussion which in turn formed the basis of a report: “Autonomous Shipping – Putting the Human Back in the Headlines”.

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World’s first autonomous and electric container ship is one step closer to launch as yard is chosen

The world’s first autonomous and electric container ship is one step closer to launch, with Norwegian agricultural company Yara signing a deal with Vard worth approximately NOK 250 million ($30 million) to build the vessel.

Vard will deliver the 120-TEU Yara Birkeland for launch in early 2020 from its Brevik yard in Norway, and the vessel will gradually move from manned operation to fully autonomous operation by 2022. The hull will be delivered from Vard Braila in Romania.

The project was initiated in an effort to improve the logistics at Yara’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant. Every day, more than 100 diesel truck journeys are needed to transport products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to ports in Brevik and Larvik where the company ships products to Continue reading “World’s first autonomous and electric container ship is one step closer to launch as yard is chosen”

Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen joint venture to launch an autonomous shipping only organisation entitled Massterly

Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen joint venture to launch an autonomous shipping only organisation entitled Massterly
Kongsberg and Wilhelmsen joint venture to launch an autonomous shipping only organisation entitled Massterly

The inexorable race to develop autonomous ships has taken another step forward with the announcement of an autonomous shipping only joint venture between well known shipping major Wilhelmsen Group and technology company Kongsberg, entitled Massterly.

“Norway has taken a position at the forefront in developing autonomous ships,” said Thomas Wilhelmsen, Wilhelmsen group CEO.

“[Through] Massterly, we take the next step on this journey by establishing infrastructure and services to design and operate vessels, as well as advanced logistics solutions associated with maritime autonomous operations. Massterly will reduce costs at all levels.”

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Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design

Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design
Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design

Automation presents a set of unique challenges to designers, insurers and operators of ships. In this article, reprinted from the Shipowners P&I Club website Keir Gravil, a naval architect at Frazer-Nash Consultancy in Bristol, UK discusses some of the key issues that could face automated ships of the future from a design perspective.

It is a truth recognised by many industries that the future of transportation lies with greater automation. Over the last 50 years we have seen huge changes not only in shipping, but in every form of transportation and vehicle. Aircraft now incorporate automation routinely on flights around the world, cars are being developed to drive themselves and many railways have been totally automated for some time. As each step in the evolution of transportation progresses, the human element of control is reduced or eliminated altogether. But what of shipping? Surely an industry the size and scope of international shipping faces unique challenges in the realm of automation?

The background
It is often the job of ship designers, especially those in the naval defence industry, to think ahead and anticipate future technological changes. One could argue that Continue reading “Autonomous vessels – the challenges and opportunities in design”

Rolls-Royce opens autonomous ship research and development centre in Finland

Photo: From left: Director General of Business Finland, Pekka Soini; Director General of ‎the Ministry of Employment and Economy, Ilona Lundström; Minister Anne Berner; President Rolls-Royce Marine, Mikael Mäkinen; UK’s Ambassador to Finland, Tom Dodd; Mayor of Turku, Minna Arve (Photo: Pekka Leino)
Photo: From left: Director General of Business Finland, Pekka Soini; Director General of ‎the Ministry of Employment and Economy, Ilona Lundström; Minister Anne Berner; President Rolls-Royce Marine, Mikael Mäkinen; UK’s Ambassador to Finland, Tom Dodd; Mayor of Turku, Minna Arve (Photo: Pekka Leino)

Rolls-Royce has opened a state-of-the-art research facility in Turku, Finland, to develop the technologies Rolls-Royce and its partners require to shape the future of an increasingly more autonomous global shipping industry.

The new Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships includes a Remote and Autonomous Experience Space aimed at showcasing the autonomous ship technologies Rolls-Royce has already introduced as well as those in the development stage.

Commenting on how the Rolls-Royce R&D centre further strengthens Finland’s commitment to developing autonomous transport, Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner, said: “There is great global interest in autonomous vehicles and vessels as a future means of transport. The opening of the Rolls-Royce Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships here in Turku, a maritime city with a history of technological innovation, will help achieve our goal of digitalising the country’s transport sector.”

The new R&D Centre enables Rolls-Royce and its partners to carry out projects focused on Continue reading “Rolls-Royce opens autonomous ship research and development centre in Finland”

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