Coming Soon - Unmanned Autonomous Ships

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by daiquiri, May 10, 2017.

  1. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 5,373
    Likes: 252, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3380
    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    A few links about what's coming down the road:
    1) VIDEO: World’s First Autonomous, Zero Emissions Ship to Be Ready by 2020 http://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/219669/video-worlds-first-autonomous-zero-emissions-ship-to-be-ready-by-2020/
    Note - the above video talks about a fully battery-operated vessel, which is not something I would bet on, but the rest of the concept is plausible.
    2) Forget Autonomous Cars—Autonomous Ships Are Almost Here http://spectrum.ieee.org/transportation/marine/forget-autonomous-cars-autonomous-ships-are-almost-here
    3) http://www.rolls-royce.com/~/media/.../marine/ship-intel/rr-ship-intel-aawa-8pg.pdf

    But not everyone seem to agree with the foreseen benefits of the technology:
    4) Fully Autonomous Vessels http://www.maritime-executive.com/editorials/fully-autonomous-vessels-unrealistic
    5) Autonomous ship regulation ‘a bigger challenge than the technology’ - http://splash247.com/autonomous-ship-regulation-bigger-challenge-technology/

    An issue that doesn't appear to have been addressed by either side is the handling of emergency situation which might happen to nearby vessels along the route. Since an autonomous ship will not have operators on board, and hence will have no life-saving appliances (LSA - like rescue boats, lifeboats etc.), it will not be capable of providing help in case of distress calls from nearby manned vessels.
    Currently, all vessels are bound by SOLAS (Ch.V, Reg. 33) to provide help to a vessel in distress, if able to do so. An autonomous ship with no LSA will clearly not be able to provide any help, and will be exempt from that obbligation.

    I hope the regulators will take this aspect into consideration, because IMO a future scenario in which cargo ships (which are currently 85% of the total) are unmanned and fully-automated might significantly lower the safety of the remaining manned fleet, for the reason mentioned above.

    I would like to hear your opinion this.

    Cheers
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 480, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The technology is here, but people's heads aren't. A similar issue arose with elevators, which required an operator for decades, in spite of safety features being well established. I also don't think an exemption should be made for these craft. Things can and do happen, so a minimal crew should be aboard to address unanticipated things that always tend to crop up.
     
  3. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
    Posts: 1,854
    Likes: 71, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 896
    Location: OREGON

    rasorinc Senior Member

    Par, are you suggesting that unmanned cargo ships with all their safety measures might fall victim
    to MURPHY'S LAW???
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 480, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Murphy is always present, but not only with the autonomous ship, but also on manned in the vicinity. Ask any 500 ton skipper how many unplanned course changes they've had to make, in a congested waterway.
     
  5. sdowney717
    Joined: Nov 2010
    Posts: 955
    Likes: 54, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 274
    Location: Newport News VA

    sdowney717 Senior Member

    AI, no human crew. Perhaps the coastguard can direct the autonomous ship to drop a lifeboat, and send it to the stricken vessel, why not ?
     
  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
    Posts: 5,768
    Likes: 350, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2489
    Location: Quam prospectum!

    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Perhaps they should be designed so that law enforcement/coast guard can commandeer the vessel remotely for safety or emergency situations.
     
  7. sdowney717
    Joined: Nov 2010
    Posts: 955
    Likes: 54, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 274
    Location: Newport News VA

    sdowney717 Senior Member

    They do fine with remote piloted drones too.
     
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 480, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Having a safety "control valve" of the likes suggested just wouldn't work. Picture a few hundred tons of freighter working its way up a shallow, limited maneuverability river, with a few dozen well lubricated boneheads, out for a fun 4th of July on the water. I'm not sure how many of you realize what these skippers and pilots go through in many places, but by the time you get an autonomous request and a USCG (or whomever) reply to make a course correction (or whatever), a PWC has been shoved through a 12' diameter prop.
     
  9. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,170
    Likes: 40, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 155
    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Torg: My lord, the ship appears to be deserted.
    Kruge: How can that be? They're hiding!
    Torg: Yes, sir. But the bridge is run by computer. It is the only thing speaking.
    [Torg's last words]
    Kruge: Speaking? Let me hear.
    Computer: 9...8...7...6... 5...
    Kruge: [Realizing he was tricked by Kirk and the Enterprise is about to self destruct, he shouts to his crew] Get out! Get out of there! Get out!
    Computer: 2... 1...
    [The
    Enterprise bridge explodes with most of the Klingon crew inside. Kruge's ship drifts away as the Enterprise continues exploding into nothingness.]
     

  10. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,170
    Likes: 40, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 155
    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    Btw ... did anyone ELSE think about Jim from Taxi as they first watched Lloyd play a Klingon?
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.