Future of ships


LPG can produce huge amount of C02 in its production as well, nobody ever talks about that


The view of the Autonomous ships by the Director General of Danish Maritime Authorities appeared in USCG Proceedings Magazine, May-Dec. 2017:


Is this an alternative Marine Fuel of the future??:


Back to sail?:


The dangers associated with lithium-ion batteries on ships is becoming an urgent issue.
DNV-GL is trying to highlight the dangers and come up with rules and guidelines for safe handling of large battery banks on board vessels of all kinds:


The boss of ABS weigh in on the future of shipping:

Hopefully something the dockers union (ILS) also understand:


Shipping is 30-500 years behind the technology curve:


But Norway is trying to do something about it, at least on the “green ship” side:

PS> The article has obviously been written by somebody with little or no knowledge of things maritime. (Or geography)



“A woman died of her injuries after being struck by a Uber self-driving vehicle in Arizona, police said on Monday…”

Oops, small boaters beware.


Yes Boaters and Pedestrians need to be careful when crossing a lane or road, whether on the water or on dry land.
I see people crossing the road without looking up from their mobile phone all the time.
I wonder how many gets killed or maimed for this reason every year??
What to do, ban cars, phones or pedestrians??


Well, I suppose I shouldn’t wade in on this topic, but it’s after the cocktail hour so what the hell…

I was on the original DARPA Autonomous Vehicle Project in the 80’s. These things are going to run into people, just like autonomous and not so autonomous ships will run into small boats, swimmers, land, and each other. The problem was, is, and always will be, sensors.

If you look at successful collision avoidance systems, they all exist in the airspace domain, and they all work on the basis of active communication: either transponders or periodic squawking of position. So in the vehicle domain, unless you upgrade to an active infrastructure (“hi. I’m really a stop sign even if somebody has covered me with a reflector that makes me look like a bush”) and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-road sharer communication (hi. "I’m really a grandmother pushing a baby carriage, even if I have the sensor profile of a newspaper blowing across the street) you will have a nontrivial failure rate. Whether that rate is acceptable is a political decision. Ditto for ships.




The number of people killed in road accidents today is too high, both in USA and the rest of the world:

Many of these accidents are caused by inattentive or incompetent drivers of the human kind,
Will autonomous cars reduce this significantly? Yes probably, but only when a majority of cars on the road are driverless.

Likewise with ships. As long as there are a majority of vessels being operated by humans that make mistakes, or may not follow the rules, there will be about the same number of accidents as today.

Sensor technology is improving in leaps and bounds, but the only way to prove up the technology is by testing in live applications.

Will that mean that there will be accidents from time to time, even if all cars and ships were autonomous? Yes, but not as many as we experience now.
If you want to stop all road deaths you would have to ban cars. (Even then somebody may be kicked to death by a horse, or whatever)

The Economist has a Special Report in their 3rd March 2018 edition; Reinventing Wheels, about autonomous vehicles:

PS> You may have to sign up for a tral, unless you are a subscriber.


Well, then there’s this!



Ah, me. I knew I should have passed on posting in favor of a second glass of wine :slight_smile:

OK, Here goes. I hate to play the credentials game, but I have worked on autonomous vehicles and sensor technology more than a little. Also taught the subject. It is not improving by “leaps and bounds” except in marketing material. The sensor fusion problem is as intractable as it always was. Sensor x says one thing, sensor y says something different, who do you believe? When one asks why anybody thinks a robot would be better than this than a human in all circumstances the response usually is 'blah blah artificial intelligence blah blah machine learning blah blah." No, show me your algorithm, and describe your verification and validation process (another subject I used to teach).

The statistics on accidents are both general and misleading. The great (and unquantified) majority of accidents are multifactor in nature, and we do not know what the weight of “inattentive and incompetent” drivers is in the mix. But it’s a nice justification for marketing hype aimed at people who do not understand or appreciate that human error is a symptom and not a cause.

The “obvious” conclusion that driverless cars will have a significantly impact on the accident rate is wholly unproven by anything that approaches detailed and rigorous analysis. Remember, driverless cars are being developed under the Silicon Valley business model: overpromise, rush to deployment, and let the users find the bugs. Works fine for video games and other toys, not so good when the thing you are deploying can kill people.

There are two things that are consistently missing from the marketing hype: opportunity cost and adversarial analysis. Opportunity cost says that since resources are always limited, you should not only take into consideration the positive aspects of option A but also the negative aspects of not doing options B, C, and D because you’ve spent your resources on A. Nobody has, or wants to in the Silicon Valley model, bring up the question of much the accident rate could be reduced if the resources being spent on autonomous vehicles were instead directed to other factors in the causal mix.

Adversarial analysis says you look at “how can this be abused?” Nobody wants to talk about that in the Silicon Valley business model (might make the venture capitalists nervous). Remember, Facebook and its unregulated capture and aggregation of personal data was going to be an unalloyed benefit to mankind and we now see how that turned out. Think about a supply-chain attack on the opaque, largely unverifiable software load which has full and irrevocable authority over the bundle of kinetic energy that is a moving vehicle. That is just one of any number of potential vulnerabilities that could be exploited by a malicious entity.

So my advice is to enjoy the hype while you can. Reality will intrude soon enough – in fact, it’s already poking its nose through the door.




Around in USA abt. 300 people died in traffic accidents on that same day. Why did only this one reach national and international news status??


British military historians have a useful term for the rate of casualties in a military operation. They call it the “butcher’s bill.” As a society we accept the butcher’s bill associated with the freedom and convenience of automotive use. It’s as simple as that. We may try to minimize it but explicitly or implicitly we know it will never be zero.

If you look at the public and political reaction to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, it wasn’t the loss of life that got everybody upset, it was the oil spill. If those 11 poor souls who died and the 30 or so more that were grievously injured had gone to their fates as cleanly as the poor souls who went down with the El Faro the former event would have made as little impact as the latter.



I hear the sensors and the algorithm worked, there was an ugly lady and a new Ferrari to run over so it had to choose.


I’d like to see some of this technology on the 2017 and 2018 build large ships that i’m piloting, brand radars on autoclutter providing a shoddy picture, very bare bones basic bridge equipment and a simple straight forward engine with a bunch of 3rd world engineers ‘keeping it going’.

We already have incredibly advanced DP3 ships… with a lot of highly skilled and highly paid Westerners in engineering and electrical roles keeping them going.

Anyone got experience with V-Sat, great isn’t it when it works? But its expensive and a little rain shower is enough to send that offline.

Cost, quality, reliability and redundancy are going to be the big issues with autonomy. Still some way to go before it becomes a real commercial option.


Does mean the automotive industry is 8,000 years behind?


Hardly possible as the wheel wasn’t invented until abt. 5000 years ago:

I have always believed it was the Irish that did it, but it appears it may have been a Slovenian invention.

Not surprising when you know that there are some really smart people from there. (Einstein level, I hear)