The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has confirmed that it has begun work to examine how the operation of autonomous ships could be addressed within IMO instruments.
Rolls-Royce and Finnish shipowner Finferries report that they have signed a collaboration agreement to jointly develop new decision support systems for marine operations, as well as agreeing to work together on demonstrations of remote and autonomous ferry technologies.
The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meets for its 99th session from 16-25 May, with its agenda to include a regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships.
Maersk has signed a contract with Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics to trial the US company’s perception and situational awareness technology on board one of the shipping company’s new-build Winter Palace ice-class container ships.
Tests of a new autodocking system installed on the 83m ferry Folgefonn, owned by Norwegian operator Norled, have been concluded by Wärtsilä, with the vessel successfully completing actual harbour docking trials without the captain needing to take manual control at any stage in the procedure.
Thirteen new environmentally friendly ferries being built for the Norwegian company Fjord1 are to be installed with Autocrossing systems from Rolls-Royce Marine, following the agreement of a new contract.
Wilhelmsen and Kongsberg have collaborated in the creation of a new joint venture called Massterly, which they describe as the “world's first autonomous shipping company.”
Rolls-Royce reports that results from the £1.3 million MAXCMAS (MAchine eXecutable Collision regulations for Marine Autonomous Systems) research project have demonstrated that the operation of autonomous vessels can meet, if not exceed, current collision avoidance (COLREG) rules.
The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has launched “several projects” to help the industry adapt to changes in regulations and technologies, as well as identify barriers to autonomous ship operations, according to chairman Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen.
Rolls-Royce has introduced a new system to improve situational awareness for navigators operating vessels at night, in adverse weather conditions or in congested waterways, which works by fusing sensor data with intelligent software to provide bridge crews with a more detailed understanding of events unfolding around them than what would be possible with the naked eye.
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