The autonomous technologies driving the marine industry of the future
Published 05 September 2018
The world’s first fully autonomous cargo ship is under construction in Norway, with completion slated for 2020, but automation is being adopted for commercial fleets right now as tech experts enter into partnerships with industry suppliers.
In June 2018 Norwegian marine equipment supplier Kongsberg acquired Rolls-Royce Commerce Marine and its research and development of autonomous marine technology. Kongsberg has now partnered with shipping supplier Wilhelmsen in a joint venture, Massterly, as a supplier of autonomous technology.
Start-ups on board
While fully autonomous ships will roll slowly off international production lines, retrofitting of existing fleets offers rich opportunities for tech start-ups such as United States-based Shone, which recently partnered with shipping carrier CMA CGM to supply piloting systems. The technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) combined with data from existing ship sensors to provide information about other vessels’ movements.
reduction in accidents due to human error (75–95% of marine accidents)
savings in crew costs such as provisioning, salaries and insurance (up to 30% of voyage cost)
energy efficiency as vessels convert to electric power
optimised logistics derived from digitised supply chain information and increased connectivity.
Need for adaptation
An estimated 90% of global trade is by sea and these developments signal the imminent transformation of the marine industry, fast-tracking the need to update international regulations governing shipping.
In May 2018 the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a branch of the United Nations, started developing a framework for autonomous shipping regulations for maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) through to varying levels of autonomy including
"With Gallagher expertise in insuring specialist vessel we understand that when choosing new vessels to expand their fleet clients will be beginning to consider both designing and acquiring vessels that will incorporate some level of autonomy.
"Gallagher has developed a series ofstrategies aimed at equipping our clients with information and advice on the operation of autonomous vessels, by providing insight into both the opportunities and risks, and by addressing key conversations about legal liabilities and emerging cover requirements."
Key risk management considerations include
preparedness– putting preventative and preparatory measures in place to help a business adapt to and face volatility
response– a basic measure of a business adaptive capacity under adversity. Resilient organisations find a balance between pre-planning, monitoring and reactive capabilities
recovery– combines the responsiveness of the organisation with its ability to continue in the face of disruption, while simultaneously commencing recovery after an incident.
Want to know more about marine risks?
Gallagher has released a new report entitled The 5 most challenging emerging risks facing the Australian maritime industry. Download the report below.