Legal aspects of Autonomous ships

The thread Future of Ships has become too long and too diversified. Time to separate out the legal, security and operational aspects of autonomous, remote controlled or unmanned ships in the not too far future.

The first question is obviously; who is responsible if and when there are an accident or incident involving 3rd party?

Here is an article from Sysla today:


(Since it is probably by subscription only and in Norwegian, here is a Google translation):

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The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) completed a regulatory scoping exercise to assess future regulation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS):
https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/regulation/imo-paving-way-autonomous-vessel-regulation

IMO may have completed their guidelines, but has the last words been spoken on the subject?:

lets see when the first one gets pirated and the salvor says abandoned

That is what the new regulations will avoid.

PS> Pirates that is looking for hostages to take will be disappointed. So will the small time thief that sneak onboard to steal paint, tools and spare parts.

Autonomous ship already operating in US waters:

Is it also operating in International waters during the operation?

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The competition to be first to put an autonomous container ship into service is hotting up:

NOTE: It is still only for tests on short domestic service and fixed routes.

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Someone needs to inform Amy Thompson about the difference between a “massive ship” and a powered barge of something less than impressive dimensions.

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