Future of ships


#162

[QUOTE=ombugge;190852]DavidMT, you are assuming that the autonomous ships of the future are going to be just like the ships you are serving on now. They are not.
The people who are planning this are not ignorant of how machinery and equipment on ships function. In fact they actually consult those who are serving on existing ships to hear their grievances and tap into their experiences to ensure that lessons are learnt and solutions found. Once they are ready to send one of their autonomous ship to sea, they would have come up with ways to ensure that it is safe to do so.

If a fuse on a Reefer Container blows there will be a redundant system in place, if that is deemed necessary. Better still, make sure that the refrigeration systems used are 100% reliable. Besides, what do you put in a single container that is worth a million dollar?

To have crew on board to change filters, or plug leaks would defeat the purpose. 100% redundancy is the answer. Expensive to build, but cheap to operate. DP 3 vessel are already required to have 100% redundancy on all essential systems.

Who is going to be in charge has been discussed above, but it is NOT going to be anybody on board the vessel, since there will not be any. Nobody will be chipping rust, or maintaining the OWS, and no lock need to be placed on the O/B valve.

Get used to the thought that this will happen, but probably will not affect the present generation of seafarers too much. A few may move from sea to land to operate ships from the Control Centre, others will do maintenance while ships are in port, then go home.

See post # 155
Yet others will program the vessel computers for the next voyage, plan loading and discharging and ensure stability at all stages of the voyage. Ballast water exchange will not be necessary, as there will be Ballast Treatment Plants on board. (Hopefully USCG will get around to approve some by then)

Don’t fight it, it will happen anyhow. If you want to see the world, fly. It is cheap, fast and easy to get to anywhere.[/QUOTE]

Dude…what are you smoking? Airliners have triple back ups and can fly on their own with zero maintenance even possible underway but are still managed by flight crews.


#163

[QUOTE=ombugge;190852]DavidMT, you are assuming that the autonomous ships of the future are going to be just like the ships you are serving on now. They are not.
The people who are planning this are not ignorant of how machinery and equipment on ships function. In fact they actually consult those who are serving on existing ships to hear their grievances and tap into their experiences to ensure that lessons are learnt and solutions found. Once they are ready to send one of their autonomous ship to sea, they would have come up with ways to ensure that it is safe to do so.

If a fuse on a Reefer Container blows there will be a redundant system in place, if that is deemed necessary. Better still, make sure that the refrigeration systems used are 100% reliable. Besides, what do you put in a single container that is worth a million dollar?

To have crew on board to change filters, or plug leaks would defeat the purpose. 100% redundancy is the answer. Expensive to build, but cheap to operate. DP 3 vessel are already required to have 100% redundancy on all essential systems.

Who is going to be in charge has been discussed above, but it is NOT going to be anybody on board the vessel, since there will not be any. Nobody will be chipping rust, or maintaining the OWS, and no lock need to be placed on the O/B valve.

Get used to the thought that this will happen, but probably will not affect the present generation of seafarers too much. A few may move from sea to land to operate ships from the Control Centre, others will do maintenance while ships are in port, then go home.

Yet others will program the vessel computers for the next voyage, plan loading and discharging and ensure stability at all stages of the voyage. Ballast water exchange will not be necessary, as there will be Ballast Treatment Plants on board. (Hopefully USCG will get around to approve some by then)

Don’t fight it, it will happen anyhow. If you want to see the world, fly. It is cheap, fast and easy to get to anywhere.[/QUOTE]

Couple of “hundred million dollar” salvage claims for rescuing broke down box boats will fix this idea, at least in commercial terms. I can automate makin peanut butter sandwiches, but that doesn’t mean I can sell them for one cent more than hand made …


#164

It suddenly becomes very profitable to have salvagers anonymously disable automated vessels. Then go in to “rescue” with a salvage tug and crew.


#165

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;190867]It suddenly becomes very profitable to have salvagers anonymously disable automated vessels. Then go in to “rescue” with a salvage tug and crew.[/QUOTE]

Sigh. . . thanks for outing me. . .


#166

Oh you guys are so pessimistic and cynical it is not even funny. What happened to the American spirit of adventure and innovation that took the oil industry out onto the water, humans to the moon and who built the first (and only) nuclear powered cargo ship?

What happened to American shipyards that were able to mass produce ships cheaply and at a hell of a clip, but now is only able to assemble foreign designed and equipped vessel? Even that slowly, expensively and only because of protectionism.
Why have the world’s biggest merchant fleet shrunk to a few dozen ships in foreign trade?

Yes it is easy to blame it on foreigners stealing US technology, working for peanuts and in general on the catchall, phrase “Globalization”, but is that actually the reason?.

You may think that Europeans are idiot to spend time and money on developing modern ships, when 40 year old ships can still float (barely) and carry cargo between US ports. although expensive, inefficiently and to the detriment of the environment.

You may believe that companies like Roll-Royce Marine, Wartsilla, Siemens and ABB to mention some, is wasting time and money on developing autonomous ships without any hope of it ever working, or seeing profit down the line, but is that realistic?

Do you actually believing that they doing it just to get subsidize from EU, or the Finnish Government? If so you are delusional, or hung up in the belief that everything has to be like in America.

New technology will force itself on you, whether you like it or not. You can either be in the forefront, or play catch up down the line. Silicon Valley isn’t the only place where innovation is happening and digital media technology isn’t the only high-tech industry.
The technology and machinery required to develop autonomous ships are not dependent on Silicon Valley, it is being developed and financed in Europe.

Watch for China getting in on the act once the basics are in place. Americans and Europeans underestimate what is happening in China at the moment at their peril. It is no longer a place only for cheap knock-off production, but a place of innovation today, more so in the future. You can still get things made cheaply in China, incl. ships and machinery, but you can also get high quality, high tech equipment made there if you are prepared to pay for it.


#167

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;190867]It suddenly becomes very profitable to have salvagers anonymously disable automated vessels. Then go in to “rescue” with a salvage tug and crew.[/QUOTE]

We are not taking about Automated ships, those already exists and are sailing the oceans. (Unmanned Engine room and pre-programmed navigation systems etc.) We are talking about Autonomous ships that eliminate human errors, as far as possible, thus reducing the need for salvors, anonymous or otherwise.

Hackers are obviously one of the problems that need to be addressed and eliminated as far as possible. The mitigating factor is obviously that the ships are monitored at all times and if any deviation from planned route, or any other anomalies occure, the operator can activate a second system and take control of the vessel remotely.


#168

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;190859]Dude…what are you smoking? Airliners have triple back ups and can fly on their own with zero maintenance even possible underway but are still managed by flight crews.[/QUOTE]

I quit smoking years ago. It is not as difficult as it is made out to be, but it take “will-not power” (I.e. I WILL NOT LIGHT UP THAT CIGARETTE)

Why don’t plane fly themselves, although they already have the systems available to do so? Probably because there are rules and regulations in place to stop it from happening YET. Besides, would passengers accept a pilot free cockpit, although is it presumed to be safer? (No suicidal Pilots, for one and no Pilot errors)

Likewise with Cruise ships, as mention here earlier. You could not have an autonomous Cruise ship, if for nothing else; who would host the Captain’s Dinner, and how do you get the privileged seat at the Captain’s Table, if there are no Captain?

This could, as suggested, be solved by having an actor playing the role of Captain.(I believe we have seen one in action. Unfortunatelly he was also able to give orders)

You could still have an Automated ship, with a Deck and Engine staff parading around in their nice white uniforms to make the “guests” feel safe. (Maybe they could be actors too?)

As far as the hotel part is concerned, there is already an automated Bartender on a Cruise ship, but to go to the extent of having frozen TV dinners, microwave ovens and self-service may not work too good. (PS> That “Bartender” is said to mix a mean Martini)


#169

[QUOTE=ombugge;190875]I quit smoking years ago. It is not as difficult as it is made out to be, but it take “will-not power” (I.e. I WILL NOT LIGHT UP THAT CIGARETTE)

Why don’t plane fly themselves, although they already have the systems available to do so? Probably because there are rules and regulations in place to stop it from happening YET. Besides, would passengers accept a pilot free cockpit, although is it presumed to be safer? (No suicidal Pilots, for one and no Pilot errors)

Likewise with Cruise ships, as mention here earlier. You could not have an autonomous Cruise ship, if for nothing else; who would host the Captain’s Dinner, and how do you get the privileged seat at the Captain’s Table, if there are no Captain?

This could, as suggested, be solved by having an actor playing the role of Captain.(I believe we have seen one in action. Unfortunatelly he was also able to give orders)

You could still have an Automated ship, with a Deck and Engine staff parading around in their nice white uniforms to make the “guests” feel safe. (Maybe they could be actors too?)

As far as the hotel part is concerned, there is already an automated Bartender on a Cruise ship, but to go to the extent of having frozen TV dinners, microwave ovens and self-service may not work too good. (PS> That “Bartender” is said to mix a mean Martini)[/QUOTE]

re: smoking
If the doctor gives me a month to live, I may start up again.

[U]Why don’t planes fly themselves? [/U]
They do. The pilots enter data and monitor the systems. They are extensively trained to fly the plane manually but rarely do so because the computers do a better job.

[U]Would passengers accept a pilot free cockpit?[/U]
The answer is no. They have already voted.

[U](No suicidal pilots , for one and no Pilot errors)[/U]
That’s wishful thinking. The programmers and data entry people are human. As long as there is a human link in the chain there will be errors and potential sabotage. In fact, it could easily make things worse. it will require much less commitment and effort on the part of an individual to send a plane on a death dive if he has the disconnect of watching it happen on a screen.

We have much more important issues to focus on than putting aircraft and ship crews out of work.

My comment about cruise ships was tacked on at the end of my post to provide comic relief while expressing my dislike for floating resorts registered in the Bahamas who sail on the backs of indentured workers from third world countries begging for tips from US vacationers because they are sending their minuscule salaries home to support their extended families. The ships are massive vacuum cleaners sucking US dollars and funneling them to offshore tax havens. But you know all this and it is perfectly legal but still pisses me off.


#170

Pilots extensively trained to fly manually?
You need to have a beer with a sim operator to find out modern pilots have zero manual flying skills.


#171

[QUOTE=c.captain;181751]I just want to say that I absolutely LOATHE THIS SHIT!

glad I will be long gone before this ever becomes common[/QUOTE]
How do you know your plane is not like this now and the guys up front just make announcements?


#172

[QUOTE=powerabout;190892]Pilots extensively trained to fly manually?
You need to have a beer with a sim operator to find out modern pilots have zero manual flying skills.[/QUOTE]

I don’t think so. I know a little bit about pilot training being the proud holder of an ATP certificate (Airline Transport Pilot rating) with over 2000 hrs PIC.

What are you basing your statement on?


#173

#174

[QUOTE=Lee Shore;190850]All this talk reminds me of 1950’s Popular Mechanics articles demonstrating how we would all be buzzing around in flying cars by the year 2000. The charade gets revived every 15 years or so when an inventor jump starts it with a new “air car”, then the story fades away before the next big news cycle.
[/QUOTE]
FAA Gives Flying Car Prototype the Go-Ahead as a Light Sport Aircraft


#175

Despite all the pessimists and naysayers here on the forum, work is progressing to make autonomous ships (and flying cars) a reality.
They don’t think that because it hasn’t been done before it can’t be done: http://www.smp.no/naeringsliv/2016/09/30/Åpnet-testområde-for-førerløse-skip-13573118.ece?cx_front_click=baseline_test&cx_front_click_place=7&cx_front_click_articles=1
Sorry, in Norwegian only. Translation required.

Yes this is testing the collision avoidance system and shore based monitoring in close proximity to shore and in small scale, not the endurance of unmanned engine room for an autonomous cross Pacific passage. That is being done at the same time by others.

Why would you need Engineers to clean Self-cleaning Separators anyhow?: http://www.alfalaval.com/products/separation/centrifugal-separators/separators/s-and-p-flex/


#176

[QUOTE=ombugge;190959]
Why would you need Engineers to clean Self-cleaning Separators anyhow?: http://gcaptain.com/forum/professional-mariner-forum/professional-mariner-forum/www.alfalaval.com/globalassets/documents/industries/machinery-and.../gt-50.pdf[/QUOTE]

Without engineers your ship will work as well as this link does. For me it says page can not be found. What was the gist of the point you were trying to make?


#177

[QUOTE=KPChief;190960]Without engineers your ship will work as well as this link does. For me it says page can not be found. What was the gist of the point you were trying to make?[/QUOTE]

And self cleaning filters, self fixing leaks, self cleaning turbo chargers…

Not to mention I find it charming that some people think all of a ships maintenance could be done in an average port stay


#178

[QUOTE=KPChief;190960]Without engineers your ship will work as well as this link does. For me it says page can not be found. What was the gist of the point you were trying to make?[/QUOTE]

New link inserted.

Point I tried to make?
Somebody mentioned “cleaning separators” as a reason to require Engineers onboard.
Apparently they can clean themselves for a while.

I repeat again. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO TAKE AN OLD SHIP AND MAKE IT AUTONOMOUS.
Give the many people that work on this project some credit. They are neighter ignorant of how ships and machinery work, nor some village idiots that dream up things that is impossible.

It is serious companies and highly competent people involved who will make this happen a lot sooner than you think.
It will start with small vessels, probably ferries in inshore traffic, but within relatively few years it will extent to short sea trade and eventually to world wide trade.

How long before the first autonomous ship is seen in an American port will depend as much on the inertia in US shipping and Maritime Authorities as on available tried and tested technology.

The US Navy is working on it: http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/8/11391840/us-navy-autonomous-ship-sea-hunter-christened
But will it spread to the Merchant fleet anytime soon? Probably not as long as the present mindset and lacks safety standards are allowing old obsolete ships to sail under US flag.

American Shipper is paying a little attention to what is happening in Europe on this front: http://www.americanshipper.com/main/news/aawa-lays-out-vision-for-autonomous-shipping-64477.aspx#hide
But they do not fund anything, or have any influence on those who do.


#179

[B][U]Lets first try to fix this forum functionality[/U][/B] - so you dont have to refresh with every damn post, or page change that has been made. This has been going on now for the last 2 months?? Then get back to working on the ships that do not need a crew? LOL. Currently the US Navy, and Royal Navy cant even design a ship that works without problems with a crew onboard.


#180

[QUOTE=ombugge;190963]New link inserted.
Point I tried to make?
Somebody mentioned “cleaning separators” as a reason to require Engineers onboard.
Apparently they can clean themselves for a while.[/QUOTE]

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.


#181

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.