Autonomous Ships - Rule 6 & Rule 7


If all the “available means” are sensors then, yes, they are used … so what is the question? If human eyeballs are not available then they are not part of the equation.


Then new pilots will be hired to replace the ones that has fallen behind time.
The operational responsibility may be shared between a shore based pilot and the absentee Master, operating the ship from afar. The ship will in any case steer itself during approach and departure, unless either one of the above take charge.

Actual berthing and unberthing could be done from the wharf by a “Dockmaster” with a laptop control unit.
This will include the automated mooring devices:

And deploying / stowing the gangway. No, not your traditional companionway, but something like this:


Maybe a lot of the angst that seems ot surround the concept of an automated ship is due to people clinging to the soon to be outdated concept and terms of “pilot” and “master.” We are going to have remote operated ships, they are going to be machines that function autonomously without requiring the services of flagmen or other traditional maritime servants.

It might be best to get over the transitional grief as quickly as possible and accept giant leaps in technology and the new vocabulary that will go along with it. Engineers who go home at night will thrive, deckies will go the way of buggy whips … get used to it.