Autonomous merchant vessels: examination of factors that impact the effective implementation of unmanned ships
Published on Jul 2, 2016in Australian journal of maritime and ocean affairs
· DOI :10.1080/18366503.2016.1229244
ABSTRACTResearch in the design and development of fully autonomous and unmanned merchant vessels has revealed positive results and expected benefits that support their likely implementation on the high seas in the near future. The benefits mainly derive from the removal of the human element which may reduce associated errors; and provide financial savings on crew salaries and omission of crew accommodation. However, even though the technical concepts for unmanned vessel operation are well established, studies on human interaction with the systems are not as prevalent. This paper highlights the regulatory, legal, safety, human/technology interface and societal concerns posed to the operation of unmanned vessels. This paper argues that the belief in complete reliability and trustworthiness of fully automated ships is unrealistic, and in doing so, questions its commercial viability. This paper concludes that the maritime and seafaring industry require further evidence of the validation of the technology befo...