Future of ships


An article in TU kind of condense the problems and possibilities that open up with the development of autonomous ships in the not too far future: https://www.tu.no/artikler/nyskapende-teknologier-kan-gi-baerekraftig-skipsfart/398447

Will this come? Yes it will, regardless of resistance from certain quarters.
Will this create or destroy jobs? Both. Traditional jobs at sea will be diminished. There will still be a need for crew on some type of ships, but maybe not in the traditional deck and engine room positions we have today.
New jobs will be created ashore that will require some of the skills of present day seafarers, but with additional skills to suite the new ways of operating ships that will be required. Where those jobs will be situated is left to be seen though.


After an initial test period of maybe 1 year, the vessel will have no “operator” on board, but will be remotely controlled from a shore based control centre.


If you are referring to the Yara Birkeland, it is the intention that the vessel will have somebody on board initially, but be remotely operated, then be operated crewless for abt. 1 year, before becoming totally autonomous in 2020. This is assuming that all systems are working and regulations allow.


I recall years ago a passenger ship grounding of the east coast of the U.S. Apparently a connection to the GPS antenna had broken and the vessel was DRing. Will an autonomous vessel be taking ranges and bearings or shooting stars to back up the GPS? Nothing is perfect and equipment does break and malfunction.

Also, what is to stop or, at least notify “authorities”, if the vessel is boarded? Sure there can be cameras and sensors but those won’t prevent a boarding. If some group targets valuable cargo well out so sea how long will it take to send the ship police to the ship? Even then if the ship is taken over who will know where to find it?


Being from an OSV background I don’t think oil companies will allow completely autonomous ships next to the rigs any time soon but, remotely controlled ones, that’s the immediate future. You can already take control of the DP systems from anywhere, and the throttles and rudders and electronical controlled as well for the DP system so ship control is already done. It’s just a matter of relaying the navigation info back to the guy on watch.

What will happen is I will sit at my desk at home wearing some type of VR system with A DP panel and hopefully a set of throttle and rudder controls for more direct input when needed. Relaying of the DP system to move a boat for anything other then operation in the field even on joystick blows. Takes too long for commands to happen. There will be cameras that move with my head giving me 360 degree field of vision, along with other cameras as needed for cargo ops and docking. I’ve already been on boats where I would use the cameras exclusively to dock and it was no big deal. Hopefully some rotary dials that I can assign to various things like radio channel selection, radar range, etc. to make work flow a little better.

In the VR helmet you could have an overlay of the radar, ECDIS, and AIS systems as you look out the “window” to help you navigate. Imagine going down a channel at night with the banks overlaid with the FLIR, ECDIS chart and radar image. There is a bend up ahead you see the AIS buble pop up for a vessel with its info that you can’t see yet. You look down to check your traditional radar to get an idea of it’s position and make a radio call to arrange passing.

The biggest issue I see is connectivity. Satellites are great and work most of the time, but are weather and heading dependant on some vessels. So there would need to be some type of redundancy. I know in the GOM there are enough structures that 4g wireless could be done for all of the shelf and a lot or the deep water.

What I think will happen before that is you will see a convoy of OSV’s with all of them controlled by a mother ship headed to a rig. With direct data connection using WIFI to control them



Gulfmark was part of another test to prove the feasibility of remote operation of offshore vessels: https://sysla.no/maritim/dette-skipet-ble-fjernstyrt-fire-timer/
If they can sit in Nevada and kill people on the other side of the world, why not operate ships the same way??

Same from Splash 24/7 today: http://splash247.com/psv-off-scotland-driven-remotely-san-diego/


This will work great until a disgruntled person hooks up a GPS jammer from Radio Shack parts to the hull. So I hear one can be made for just a little bit of cash.


According to the latest report, shipping-related emissions account for 3% of the total global carbon emissions, and are expected to climb by 150-250% over the next 40 years. The time has come to overhaul and replace every aspect of the shipping industry in order to reduce its carbon foot-prints.


First of all, I do not believe that 3% statistic — 0.3% would be more likely. Even if it were 3%, ignore it — it’s trivial.

When industrial and utility coal consumption has dropped to zero and all the cars are electric, then we can turn our attention to marginal endeavors like reducing shipping emissions.


That will be absolutely fabulous when the wannacry virus gets in.
If there is nobody on board, who gets to fill out all the bullshit paperwork on arrival; C3PO?


Some are getting ready for the ships of the future: http://splash247.com/samsung-heavy-gears-smart-ship-era-inmarsat/

Maybe not fully autonomous for a while, but the office will know what is happening on board before the crew does.

Anybody looking forward to get an e-mail from a Superintendent to tell them what is going on and what to do about it??



work at home, maybe down the pub?


The classification Societies to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age??: http://splash247.com/new-iacs-chairman-promises-gear-class-digital-era/


Definitely down the pub, straight after picking up the unemployment benefit.


Bigger is better.
An “infectious” trend toward ordering more and bigger box ships seems unstoppable as carriers fulfill their alliance capacity commitments, reports Lloyd’s List. The average ship order size in 2014 was 7,500­ TEU, but in the first quarter of 2015, the average was 13,600 TEU, said London’s Braemar ACM Ship broking. The current new building order book, as of May 1, consists of 427 vessels, with 157 boasting capacities of 10,000 TEU or more


The UK Gov. is putting their money where their mouth is: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-backs-innovative-technology-to-slash-shipping-emissions-to-zero


Autonomous Naval vessels being proposed by Rolls-Royce: https://sysla.no/maritim/avslorer-nye-planer-forerlose-skip/

Could this be the solution for the USN’s predicaments with their ships running into things??


From Hellenic Shipping News today: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/autonomous-ships-and-the-human-element/


Well it would solve the potential for loss of life, but stop running into things? Nahhh