Future of ships


#182

[QUOTE=Emrobu;190969]Most of our ferries have most of their work done in port. That’s because they are in port every night, all night. There’s a full shift’s worth of work, done by a full crew’s worth of engineers, every single day. I am therefore not impressed by an “autonomous” ferry that spends each and every night in her berth.[/QUOTE]

Here is one candidate that could be set up for autonomous ferry operation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6Lp-qV9ZJU
Norway is building more of these.

The first one will likely be in Finland, maybe already next year, however.


#183

[QUOTE=KPChief;190968]That’s the trouble with words, they mean different things to different people. This purifier concept is what? 40 years old already? Just had to clean one. Don’t get me wrong this design was a game changer, but partial sludge ejection is not same thing as cleaning. They have even done work on dewatering the sludge, drying and compacting the solids for disposal ashore. More features more money. Some would find it worth the cost to reduce the sludge handling liabilities aboard. But you would still have to clean the purifier and change the o-rings and bowl sealing ring and valve plugs, etc. now presumably this would be work accomplished during the port stays in your scenario. But as was pointed out above, the answer to every maintenance issue with “it will be done in port” is also unrealistic with labor costs, time constraints and simultaneous work issues.

I would say most engineers are practical people who also are “not ignorant of how ships and machinery work”. They have no problem allowing for the possibility of a transoceanic autonomous vessel of commercial dimensions but they also see the many, many details required to pull it off. You seem to take any technical points of concern as unfounded criticism of your rosy and inevitable picture of the future. You are starting to come off as Darth Bugge…“all you engineers, I find your lack of faith disturbing”. What would make you happy? That we all agree it is inevitable? OK Nostradamus, I agree. Let’s move on.[/QUOTE]

Yes even self-cleaning separators need repairs, or even “deep cleaning” ones in a while, but would they be able to run unattended for say 20-30 days when in god state of repair at the start?

No I don’t find it disturbing, or even surprising, that Engineers are skeptical to anything that may change their role from seagoing to shore based. In fact I would be more surprised if they were not.

The deck officers are just as skeptical to the though that ships can sail themselves across oceans and especially in/out of ports and maneuvering alongside berths.
Just look at the video of the ferry “Ampere” and you can see the contours of the future. Would it be possible to replace that pretty Chief Mate with a computer at the control. Absolutely, but it need to be proven over time first, before she move ashore to do her job.


#184

[QUOTE=ombugge;190978]Yes even self-cleaning separators need repairs, or even “deep cleaning” ones in a while, but would they be able to run unattended for say 20-30 days when in god state of repair at the start?

The deck officers are just as skeptical to the though that ships can sail themselves across oceans and especially in/out of ports and maneuvering alongside berths.
[/QUOTE]

OK, let’s pretend that Norwegian engineers blessed with superior intelligence, skill and good looks have enabled the FS Onbugge to sail from Oslo to the Houston Ship Channel sea buoy without a soul on board. The formally bothersome self-cleaning separators are spotless. The ship is on its way to pick up some liquid cargo at a refinery in Galena Park. What happens next?


#185

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;190980]What happens next?[/QUOTE]
The barristers are all waiting with bated breath…


#186

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;190980]OK, let’s pretend that Norwegian engineers blessed with superior intelligence, skill and good looks have enabled the FS Onbugge to sail from Oslo to the Houston Ship Channel sea buoy without a soul on board. The formally bothersome self-cleaning separators are spotless. The ship is on its way to pick up some liquid cargo at a refinery in Galena Park. What happens next?[/QUOTE]

Yes indeed, what is happening next?

To a degree that will depend on whether this is first call of an autonomous ship in Houston, or even in the US.
If it is, there will probably be a fleet of small boats filled with protester waiting, claiming that this foreign contraption should be banned from entering US waters.

Why? Because it is not an American vessel and therefore must be inferior and dangerous. Could there be a bomb onboard, or maybe the ship is carrying illegal immigrants from Norway looking for a better life in America?

Other, more level headed people, will want to know WHY it is not an American ship and who’s to blame for the US not being in the forefront of Marine Technology.

If we are looking at what will happen when these ships are common and arrival at any port is routine, the answer may be like this;

At an agreed point some distance from the sea buoy, monitoring and control of the ship is taken over by local VTS, or by the Pilot Authority’s Control Centre.

The ship continues autonomously,but supervised by ONE dedicated person, still unmanned and unaided by tugs to the berthing location, where a Pilot on the wharf may supervise the berthing operation visually,or may even take charge by portable remote joy stick and control panel.

Once alongside the required number of pneumatic mooring arms connect themselves to the hull.
A side door opens and a gangway is deployed, all by remote control.

The “shore gang” now have safe access to the vessel to perform whatever repairs and maintenance required.

Since there are no crew, no need for Quarantine, Immigration or Customs to board and no worries about crew jumping ship etc.

is this possible with today’s technology, or an idiotic pipe dream by some dumb Norwegians, Finns, Germans, Dutch and even some Swiss from some of the largest and most advanced European Companies and Universities??

Who knows? Maybe it is all a hoax to get Government grants, or to tricking Americans into believing that it is possible for foreigners to develop such things.
Maybe the computers of some American shipyards, Naval Architects and Marine Technology firms have been hacked and it is all stolen American technology?

We shall see in a few years, when the first autonomous ship is in operation in Scandinavia.


#187

LNG fuel is clean and you don’t need to clean the purifier. O yeah you don’t even need a fuel purifier just LO purifiers. No house, no provisions, and no crew payroll. Checkout the robot trucks in Rotterdam and Hamburg Germany in the container yards.


#188

I remember one time, we we’re working between Bioko and Cameroon. Seismic ship, gear out, very limited in our ability to maneuver. We’d been working all night, and the sun was coming up. We were pointed at the mainland, and planning a kinda tricky sharpish turn fairly close to the shallows (as was planned in our survey). What wasn’t planned, and what nearly made the very well qualified, professional, totally-normally-on-top-of-things bridge officers nearly shit their pants, was the sudden discovery that we were completely surrounded by fishermen in dug-out canoes. Uncountable canoes. They didn’t appear on the radars. They didn’t have radios. They apparently had not seen the notice to navigation that told people where we were, what we were doing, and our inability to accommodate other ships/yachts/canoes. The only thing to do was to get on the bullhorn and shout “get out of the way,” in French and English, clench butt-cheeks tightly, and pray to the various divinities whose devotees were represented by the bridge crew. Far as I know, no one was hurt.

Unanticipated weird shit happens. Probably everyone has a story were only a human being could have figured out how to save the day. Automated ship obviously doesn’t have this advantage.


#189

[QUOTE=Emrobu;190991]I remember one time, we we’re working between Bioko and Cameroon. Seismic ship, gear out, very limited in our ability to maneuver. We’d been working all night, and the sun was coming up. We were pointed at the mainland, and planning a kinda tricky sharpish turn fairly close to the shallows (as was planned in our survey). What wasn’t planned, and what nearly made the very well qualified, professional, totally-normally-on-top-of-things bridge officers nearly shit their pants, was the sudden discovery that we were completely surrounded by fishermen in dug-out canoes. Uncountable canoes. They didn’t appear on the radars. They didn’t have radios. They apparently had not seen the notice to navigation that told people where we were, what we were doing, and our inability to accommodate other ships/yachts/canoes. The only thing to do was to get on the bullhorn and shout “get out of the way,” in French and English, clench butt-cheeks tightly, and pray to the various divinities whose devotees were represented by the bridge crew. Far as I know, no one was hurt.

Unanticipated weird shit happens. Probably everyone has a story were only a human being could have figured out how to save the day. Automated ship obviously doesn’t have this advantage.[/QUOTE]

Yes there are such situations, which is one of the challenges that have to be worked out before autonomous ships are sent out on the open ocean, or more precisely into coastal waters with uncontrolled and uncontrollable activity. Luckily there are fewer such area now then in my young days sailing in Indonesia and the Melanesian Islands.

An autonomous ship coming up against a seismic vessel pulling an array of several sq. km. will not be a problem as Navtex warnings will be received at the Control Centre, enabling the operator to re-program the onboard system, or take over control remotely when necessary.

Nobody have said that developing autonomous ships is going to be easy, or done in a year or two, but that it will happen is a given. the question is when will it be legally possible to do so, more so then technical.
I know that Engineers thinks they are indispensable, but that is how you get disposable. What is wrong with moving off the ships to a shore based job of doing maintenance, repairs and programming anyhow?

PS> NOBODY say that ALL types of ships will be autonomous at anytime. I don’t see autonomous Seismic vessels, Fishing vessels, Offshore vessels doing complex tasks etc. Simple supply service to Platforms and Rigs maybe.
Hauling cargo across oceans yes. It is only a matter of a decade or two before that is reality.


#190

[QUOTE=ombugge;190987]Yes indeed, what is happening next?

To a degree that will depend on whether this is first call of an autonomous ship in Houston, or even in the US.
If it is, there will probably be a fleet of small boats filled with protester waiting, claiming that this foreign contraption should be banned from entering US waters.

Why? Because it is not an American vessel and therefore must be inferior and dangerous. Could there be a bomb onboard, or maybe the ship is carrying illegal immigrants from Norway looking for a better life in America?

Other, more level headed people, will want to know WHY it is not an American ship and who’s to blame for the US not being in the forefront of Marine Technology.

If we are looking at what will happen when these ships are common and arrival at any port is routine, the answer may be like this;

At an agreed point some distance from the sea buoy, monitoring and control of the ship is taken over by local VTS, or by the Pilot Authority’s Control Centre.

The ship continues autonomously,but supervised by ONE dedicated person, still unmanned and unaided by tugs to the berthing location, where a Pilot on the wharf may supervise the berthing operation visually,or may even take charge by portable remote joy stick and control panel.

Once alongside the required number of pneumatic mooring arms connect themselves to the hull.
A side door opens and a gangway is deployed, all by remote control.

The “shore gang” now have safe access to the vessel to perform whatever repairs and maintenance required.

Since there are no crew, no need for Quarantine, Immigration or Customs to board and no worries about crew jumping ship etc.

is this possible with today’s technology, or an idiotic pipe dream by some dumb Norwegians, Finns, Germans, Dutch and even some Swiss from some of the largest and most advanced European Companies and Universities??

Who knows? Maybe it is all a hoax to get Government grants, or to tricking Americans into believing that it is possible for foreigners to develop such things.
Maybe the computers of some American shipyards, Naval Architects and Marine Technology firms have been hacked and it is all stolen American technology?

We shall see in a few years, when the first autonomous ship is in operation in Scandinavia.[/QUOTE]

I thought my question was going to be answered in the form of elegant solutions for remotely guiding ships entering confined and heavily trafficked harbors. Oh well.
Shame on me for failing to anticipate that you wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to spew yet another vitriolic rant, this time demonstrating your belief that Americans are so lazy and irresponsible that they would react to the arrival of an autonomous Scandinavian ship like a bunch of startled sheep.
Your comment about inspections becoming unnecessary reflects your eagerness to grasp at imaginary castles in the sky. Why would CBP not inspect crewless ships as relentlessly as any other for hidden drugs, dirty bombs, stowaways, insects, etc.? But I digress.
You should stop listening to the voices in your head convincing you that autonomous ships will soon crisscross the planet and that Scandinavia will rule the earth. That vision presumes a universe unfolding in linear fashion with all of its current aspects remaining constant and doesn’t take into account the vagaries of the time/space continuum.
Closer to home, I still think it’s insane to eagerly apply this technology where it will result in putting mariners out of work. How does society gain by this? And I’ll say this again: We have extremely more important issues to focus on than putting sailors out of work.
This exercise might be an interesting project for a horde of Nordic dreamers who don’t get enough sun in the winter and are happy wasting their talents on dubious schemes to show how progressive they are. Their time would be better spent developing gravity defying propulsion systems or ways to feed the hungry.
In this country we already have millions of people being pushed out of their jobs so we don’t need to add more by promoting autonomous ships.
Pursuing this utopian dream is a waste of resources that won’t make anyone safer and will only have very limited applications.


#191

In this day and age of ransomeware and hackers attaching itself to universities and hospitals I can’t see how an automated ship would consider itself immune to attack. Never mind the attacks on financial institutions from actors up to and including nation states. If someone wanted to attack a company for profit I can imagine few better targets then human less ships.

If anyone says a company can make their ship hack proof I’ll be happy to call that man a fool.


#192

"Unanticipated weird shit happens. "

I believe this is my seagoing mantra. I just repeat it adnauseum so when everything inevitably goes tits up, I’m not surprised. It’s the reality of ships and going to sea. At least to experienced seamen it is.

No AI is ever going to be prepared for that.


#193

[QUOTE=DamnYankee;191013]"Unanticipated weird shit happens. "

I believe this is my seagoing mantra. I just repeat it adnauseum so when everything inevitably goes tits up, I’m not surprised. It’s the reality of ships and going to sea. At least to experienced seamen it is.

No AI is ever going to be prepared for that.[/QUOTE]

I’ll stitch it on a pillow for ya.


#194

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;191004]Scandinavia will rule the earth. [/QUOTE]

Nice of you to acknowledge this fact.

Im not as happy about the autonomous ships like Ombugge, but change will happen so better be prepared.


#195

[QUOTE=Kraken;191041]Nice of you to acknowledge this fact.

Im not as happy about the autonomous ships like Ombugge, but change will happen so better be prepared.[/QUOTE]

It is not a question of me being happy or not about it, but it is inevitable and will happen sooner rather than later.
My point is, as has been stated several times; you better be prepared to grab the opportunities that comes with this development.

Trying to fight it is fruitless. Unions in many countries have been trying for years to stop automation. It does not work.
Upgrading your skills to take on the jobs that is coming with development is the best remedy, not trying to stop development.
In Singapore Unions and the Government is cooperating to do just that.


#196

Anyone work on Shuttle tanker…
They have auto approach software as do many ferrys that work in foggy areas.
Power them with lpg and you dont need crew
There is going to be fleets of lpg psv’s operating nw shelf in oz as its too damn expensive to get fuel there so the offshore production/liquidfication ships will refuel the psv’s


#197

I am going to fly out to the autonomous ships as they go past singapore on my hoverboard fix them then fly home…lol not so funny really


#198

The solution is obvious. Just keep the engineers onboard for maintenance and repairs. They can also handle any emergencies that arise, like steering around dugout canoes. . . .


#199

[QUOTE=cmakin;191086]The solution is obvious. Just keep the engineers onboard for maintenance and repairs. They can also handle any emergencies that arise, like steering around dugout canoes. . . .[/QUOTE]

which brings up the inevitable reality of future ships…every person aboard one will need to be a deck officer as well as an engineer. Set ships to run themselves like a modern airliner but keep a certain minimum of people aboard to override the automation when everything goes south be it on the bridge or in the engineroom

I am just very glad that will be a reality I will only see as an old man


#200

[QUOTE=c.captain;191089]which brings up the inevitable reality of future ships…every person aboard one will need to be a deck officer as well as an engineer. Set ships to run themselves like a modern airliner but keep a certain minimum of people aboard to override the automation when everything goes south be it on the bridge or in the engineroom

I am just very glad that will be a reality I will only see as an old man[/QUOTE]

If we live to see it at all. . . .


#201

[QUOTE=c.captain;191089]which brings up the inevitable reality of future ships…every person aboard one will need to be a deck officer as well as an engineer. Set ships to run themselves like a modern airliner but keep a certain minimum of people aboard to override the automation when everything goes south be it on the bridge or in the engineroom

I am just very glad that will be a reality I will only see as an old man[/QUOTE]

If you have crew on board that defeats the purpose. If so you will need living quarters with all the services that requires, including catering. Having the crew eating frozen TV dinners on disposable plates, heating and serving themselves has been tried.
It did not work. Who are you going to complain to if things have gone wrong in the engine room or on deck, a microwave oven??

Interfering in an emergency will be by remote control from shore, where Mariners and Engineers will spend their time in air-conditioned comfort, watch ships sail themselves on big screens.

That you will see the first steps; autonomous ferries, coasters and other short sea ships sailing in Scandinavian and European waters is VERY likely.

If large autonomous ships on ocean crossings will be reality in “our lifetime” depends on two thing; when it will be legally possible to do so and how long we live.