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Rolls-Royce’s cargo ship of the future requires no onboard crew

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#41
Japan plans to launch a fleet of 250 self-driving cargo ships by 2025 that could cut the risk of accidents at sea in HALF
  • The smart ships would utilise artificial intelligence to navigate the seas
  • Devices connected to the internet would gather data on shipping conditions
  • This would allow the ships to plot the safest, shortest and cheapest routes
  • It is hoped the move could help Japan increase its share of the shipping market


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4588626/Japan-launch-fleet-self-navigating-cargo-ships.html#ixzz4jiORW3NI
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#42
Lloyd’s Register Announces New Code to Certify Unmanned Ships

June 14, 2017 by gCaptain


A conceptual design by Rolls-Royce of an 1,000 TEU unmanned feeder vessel. Image credit: Rolls-Royce
International classification society Lloyd’s Register has launched a new code to meet the growing demand for regulatory support for unmanned ships in the marine industry.

Lloyd’s Register describes its Unmanned Marine Systems Code as a goal-based code that takes a structured approach to the assessment of unmanned marine systems (UMS) against a set of safety and operational performance requirements.

With current and expected developments in autonomous and remote systems, LR envisages that, within the near future, unmanned systems will enter into widespread use through many sectors of the maritime industry.

“The LR Unmanned Marine Systems Code provides an assurance process in order to certify the safe design, build and maintenance of UMS against an established framework that minimizes the effort required by an owner or operator to achieve certification and which is acceptable to Flag States, local regulators and other parties. Whilst initially targeted at small non-convention sized UMS, including naval systems, it is scalable and is capable of application to larger, more complex vessels as technology and regulation develops,” Lloyd’s Register said in a press release announcing the new code.

The Code has been written to support the growing innovation in the field of unmanned systems by establishing requirements for which compliance can be demonstrated using a tailored combination of standards, or where standards do not exist, the application of risk-based assessment techniques. “The benefits of using the goal-based structure is that it defines an ultimate safety objective whilst allowing for the consideration of alternative designs and solutions that meet the safety objective; thereby supporting innovation in an area that is developing rapidly,” LR describes.

The Code, which has been validated against several existing UMS designs, has been developed against a hazard analysis of UMS design and operation and benchmarked against existing commercial and naval regulatory requirements, including SOLAS and the Naval Ship Code.

Tim Kent, LR’s Marine & Offshore Technical Director, said: “The Code provides a unique and valuable method of providing an assurance process for the safe design of unmanned marine systems in what is a rapidly developing area of the industry. It allows for the certification of novel and emerging technologies against a structured framework and is scalable according to the risk profile and autonomy of the systems, from the very small or simple to the very large or complex. It complements our existing work on cyber-enabled ships and is also intended to support any future regulatory development by the IMO or national bodies.”

http://gcaptain.com/lloyds-register-announces-new-code-to-certify-unmanned-ships/
 

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#43
Ship Automation Without Consultation – The Problem With Robot Ships

June 16, 2017 by Editorial


A DARPA sponsored highly autonomous unmanned ship.


By Capt. George H Livingstone,

“Promise Everything, Deliver Nothing” Napoleon Bonaparte

There is an ongoing “full court press” regarding the subject of automation in marine transportation. In the last year gCaptain alone has seen many articles on the subject; Rolls-Royce’s automated ships, automated tug boats, etc. Recently there have seen several more, Rolls-Royce to Open Remote Controlled and Autonomous Shipping Center in Finlandand “The World’s First Zero-Emission, Full Automated Container Ship”, ”Ships without Sailors? It can’t happen soon enough”. A plethora of marine transportation automation articles are being published internationally. It’s too good to pass up, they’re futuristic, high tech, glamorous and pressing all the hot buttons.

Adam Minter of Bloomberg View says in the above cited article, ships without sailors, “If all goes as planned, it’s actually the future of shipping” “transforming one of the world’s oldest and most conservative industries.” Really? I think Napoleon made similar remarks before Waterloo. Mariners are skeptical of saying things like If all goes as planned, etc. Mr. Minty goes on to mention many negatives of manned ships; like ship crew costs account for 44% of total coast of a ship. That manned ship’s “Bridge superstructures” typically require heavy ballasting to make sure the ship is balanced…Okay, stop! Heavy Ballasting required because of Bridge Structures? Better go online and look up basic Naval Architecture. Average crew costs 44% of total ship operating costs? ‘Balder Dash’, nonsense.

But I digress, kudo’s should be given to Kongsberg and Yara (a Norwegian fertilizer manufacturer) for announcing a partnership to build the world’s first fully autonomous cargo container ship. The first zero emission electric, automated ship. I’m just a mariner but why can’t we make the world’s first zero emission electric manned ship? The referred to ship goes into operation by 2020 and “will replace 40,000 shipments a year that had once been carried by polluting diesel trucks”. Nice but I’m not sure that the international trucking industry, which is much closer to full automation of vehicles (at much, lower per unit cost), is going to just roll over and let maritime shipping take the money and run. A fully automated 18 wheel truck just successfully made a trip from coast to coast in the United States.

But I digress, the fascinating aspect of the international discussion on automation in marine transportation is the seeming disregard for the professionals who know most about the subject, the mariners. I guess we are considered so outdated and conservative that our opinions and thoughts don’t matter. The business innovators and disruptors apparently don’t care what maritime professionals think or how the industry will be affected by automation. Change is coming, good or bad or ugly and knowledge of marine transportation is not needed to affect that change, so they say.

The reality is most professional mariners would agree automation is coming and there will be a day when unmanned vessels travel the oceans. There will also, however, most certainly be a transition period likely for a significant amount of time. A time when international law and treaties will have to be completely reviewed and rewritten. A time when the oceans will see a mix of automated and manned ships. A time when employment in the poorest countries will be considered and debated.

For example, presently in international marine transportation, some of the world’s poorest countries supply a significant portion of the world’s professional mariners providing much needed income for the demographic in question. If the average crew cost of a bulk carrier worldwide is less than 10% of total operating costs and it costs 3X as much to build an automated ship as a manned ship along with very high tech, expensive shore-side operation centers, which is the better choice? It’s not an unimportant consideration, the social justice aspect.

As long as those entities and countries pushing for automation in marine transportation keep themselves isolated through a pure PR strategy. As long as they are unwilling to engage in broad and transparent conversations with those who know marine transportation, said entities will find one self-created road block after another. I’m not suggesting automation doesn’t arrive, it will. It’s a question of the transition, which will make or break many of those presently engaged in ‘automation without consultation’.

http://gcaptain.com/ship-automation-without-consultation-problem-robot-ships/
 

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#44
World’s First Remotely-Controlled Commercial Vessel Put to the Test in Copenhagen

June 20, 2017 by gCaptain


The shoreside “Captain’s chair” at Rolls-Royce’s Remote Operating Centre at Svitzer headquarters. Image credit: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce and global towage operator Svitzer have demonstrated what is believed to be the world’s first remotely operated commercial vessel, Svitzer Hermod, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Rolls-Royce said Tuesday.

During the demonstration earlier this year, the 28-meter-long tugboat safely conducted a number maneuvers in Copenhagen harbor while controlled by a Captain ashore. From the quayside in Copenhagen harbor, Svitzer Hermod’s captain, stationed at a remote base at Svitzer headquarters, berthed the vessel alongside the quay, undocked, turned 360 degrees, and piloted it back to the Svitzer headquarters, before docking again.


Svitzer Harmod. Image credit: Rolls-Royce

The Svitzer Hermod, a Robert Allan ship design, was built in Turkey at the Sanmar yard in 2016. It is equipped with a Rolls-Royce Dynamic Positioning System, which Rolls-Royce describes as the key link to the remote controlled system. The vessel is also equipped with a pair of MTU 16V4000 M63 diesel engines from Rolls-Royce, each rated 2000 kW at 1800 rpm.

Rolls-Royce says Svitzer Hermod features a range of sensors which combine different data inputs using advanced software to give the captain an enhanced understanding of the vessel and its surroundings. The data is then transmitted to a Remote Operating Centre (ROC), where the Captain controls the vessel from.

The ROC was designed to redefine the way in which vessels are controlled, according to Rolls-Royce. Instead of copying existing wheelhouse design, the ROC was developed with input from experienced captains to place the different system components in the best place to give the master full confidence and control. The aim is to create a future proof standard for the control of vessels remotely, says Rolls-Royce.


Credit: Rolls-Royce

Throughout the demonstration the vessel also had a fully qualified captain and crew on board to ensure safe operation in the event of a system failure.

“It was an honor to be present at what I believe was a world first and a genuinely historic moment for the maritime industry,” said Mikael Makinen, President of Rolls-Royce Marine, who was on-hand to witness the event. “We’ve been saying for a couple of years that a remotely operated commercial vessel would be in operation by the end of the decade. Thanks to a unique combination of Svitzer’s operational knowledge and our technological expertise, we have made that vision a reality much sooner than we anticipated.”

The two companies have signed an agreement to continue their cooperation to test remote and autonomous operations for vessels. The primary systems involved will be autonomous navigation, situational awareness, remote control centre and communication.


Rolls-Royce

Kristian Brauner, Chief Technology Officer, Svitzer said: “Disruption through innovation is happening in almost every industry and sector and technology will also be transforming the maritime industry. As the largest global towage company, Svitzer is actively engaging in projects that allow us to explore innovative ways to improve the safety and efficiency of towage operations to benefit our customers and our crews. With its direct impact on our customer performance, operational cost and environmental footprint vessel efficiency remains a main driver now and going forward.”

Lloyd’s Register, working with Rolls-Royce and Svitzer on the project, described the demonstration as a landmark moment for the maritime industry.

“With autonomous ships likely to enter service soon, we have already set out the ‘how’ of marine autonomous operations in our ShipRight procedure guidance as it is vital these technologies are implemented in a safe way and there is a route for compliance,” said Nick Brown, Lloyd’s Register’s Marine & Offshore Director. “Lack of prescriptive Rules was no barrier for “de-risking” the project and we provided assurance against LR’s Cyber-Enabled Ships ShipRight Procedure, whilst considering the safety implications associated with the first closed demonstration. We are honored to be working as partners on this ground-breaking project in the industry’s journey to autonomous vessels.”

Filed Under: Maritime News Tagged With: autonomous shipping, rolls royce, svitzer

http://gcaptain.com/worlds-first-re...mercial-vessel-put-to-the-test-in-copenhagen/
 

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#45
Maritime Wakes Up To Security Risks

July 6, 2017 by gCaptain



Security is the Achilles’ heel of connected technology. In the maritime space, cyber risks conflate with vessel safety making a multifaceted response essential, says Inmarsat Maritime security head Peter Broadhurst

Today an estimated 30,000 vessels globally have some sort of access to always-on Internet via satellite. At the same time, a mix of increasingly sophisticated equipment – from electronic navigation systems to computer-controlled engines – is finding its way on board modern tonnage. This means ships can no longer be considered protected by an air-gap from cyber threats.

As on land, the risks are multifaceted. Organised crime groups, ‘hacktivists’, former or current members of staff, and even nation states, might all be considered malicious actors with a motive to disrupt operations at sea. Systems can also be compromised in benign ways, perhaps due to carelessness or lack of knowledge among a vessel’s crew.

Even if the networks on board are segregated between, say, systems for ship operation, crew welfare and remote access to suppliers, these divisions can over time be eroded through ad hoc interventions by the crew or suppliers, even when ostensibly acting with good intentions, such as to expedite an urgent maintenance task. The separations can also be compromised by manual transfer of data – a practice that appears particularly widespread at sea.

Matters are further complicated by the fact that shipping lines operate a mix of vessels which they either own or charter for a short period. Additionally, vessels and other key systems often carry an analogue heritage, being built for analogue control, with digital solutions grafted on later often with only minimal consideration given to security issues.



“Several welcome initiatives aimed at raising cyber-crime awareness in the maritime space and offering guidance on its prevention are underway, but there are concerns that the fragmented nature of these activities diminishes their overall impact,” says Peter Broadhurst, Vice President Safety and Security, Inmarsat Maritime.

Industrial standards for maritime back-end systems are few and far between, resulting in an IT landscape littered with custom-built solutions, which have undergone limited systematic testing of cyber security issues. At the other end of the spectrum, some shipping companies, notably container lines, have reached a stage of electronic commerce where business operations cannot be handled manually for any extended period, making them especially vulnerable to an extended deliberate or accidental system outage.

The intrinsically global nature of the supply chain, business relationships and the diversity and complexity of operational activities offer another weak-spot, which a determined intruder might be tempted exploit.

With so many variables involved, the potential consequences are hard to calculate. They might amount to a simple inconvenience or extend to a missed port arrival and significant commercial penalty. The worst-case scenario would an attack that jeopardises the safety of the vessel and its crew. “Cyber-security and safety are now so entwined that there is a growing realisation that they must be viewed through the same lens,” says Broadhurst.

As the industry turns to greater automation and digital solutions such as the Internet of Things, Big Data etc., in pursuit of cost efficiencies and becomes more tightly integrated within the connected economy, these risks are likely to intensify. “Until recently, it was relatively straightforward to distinguish between information technology and operational technology systems. The former processed data to generate information, while the latter used data to control or monitor physical processes. However, the Internet of Things is beginning to blur the boundaries between the physical world and cyber world,” explains Broadhurst.

Of course, the industry and its regulators are not blind to the cyber threat. In early 2016, BIMCO issued a set of guidelines comprising high-level recommendations on cyber-risk management accompanied by a selection of more practical self-help measures that concerned vessel owners can take immediately.

Prepared with input from a range of organisations, shipping lines, a handful of relevant manufacturers and Inmarsat, these guidelines were well-received, to the extent they were tacitly endorsed by the IMO, which used it as the basis for its own best-practice.

Recognising that no two organisations in the shipping industry are the same, and that prescriptive regulations are unlikely to keep up with rate of technological change, these guidelines take a risk management approach rather than impose hard and fast rules. “The risk-based approach offers greater resilience as policies and actions can be adapted in response to evolving threats. It also dovetails with existing safety and security management practices,” says Broadhurst.

The five principles at the heart of the Guidelines are: 1) to identify cyber-risks; 2) to take steps to protect against these cyber-risks turning into cyber-events; 3) to detect cyber-events in a timely manner; 4) to have plans to respond and get necessary systems up and running again; and 5) to have measures to recover and restore all systems impacted by a cyber-event. These tasks will be developed concurrently and continuously, rather than sequentially. They will also require engagement from senior management, so that a culture of cyber risk awareness can be embedded into all levels of any organisation.

As a major provider of satellite connectivity services to the maritime industry, Inmarsat has a keen interest in minimising its customers’ exposure to cyber-risk. This has grown more pressing following the market launch of its new high-throughput Fleet Xpress service, powered by the I-5 constellation of Ka-band satellites, which enables much more data to flow between ship and shore.

To that end, the company is devising specialised software solutions and stepping up its involvement in industry-wide initiatives to help vessel owners minimise the exposure to cyber-risk. It will soon introduce a unified threat management (UTM) service customised for maritime end-users. Designed to function as an integrated part of Fleet Xpress, it will provide ship owners and operators a pathway for putting the BIMCO guidelines into practice.

Based on the Trustwave platform (now owned by Singaporean telco Singtel), the UTM component is continually updated with incoming intelligence on new cyber-risks. This will be utilised when inspecting data going to and from a vessel. As well as seeking out potential intrusions via the satellite connection, it will also look for incursions stemming elsewhere on the vessel LAN, perhaps the result of an infected USB sticks or devices belonging to crew or visiting contractors.

Inmarsat is also supporting the activities of a joint working group set up by the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) to formulate a set of recommendations focused on the cyber-security.


Filed Under: maritime security Tagged With: cyber security, Inmarsat

http://gcaptain.com/maritime-wakes-security-risk/
 

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#46
Bourbon Joins Project to Build World’s First Autonomous Offshore Vessel

July 11, 2017 by Mike Schuler


An illustration of the unmanned, fully-autonomous prototype vessel. Image credit: Hrönn Project

French offshore services company Bourbon Offshore announced Tuesday it has signed on to a project which is aimed at building of the world’s first fully-autonomous, unmanned offshore vessel.

Bourbon entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Automated Ships Ltd to support the building of the first-of-its-kind vessel in collaboration with the project’s primary technology partner, KONGSBERG.

The project, called the Hrönn project, is seeking to build the first autonomous, fully-automated and cost-efficient prototype vessel for offshore operations. The offshore vessel, dubbed Hrönn, will be designed and built in Norway, and could enter service as the world’s first full-size unmanned ship as early as 2018.


The Hrönn could enter service as early as 2018.
For its part, Bourbon will use its expertise in building and operating a standardized fleet to provide detailed input to the development and design of the vessel, ensuring flexibility, reliability, and cost efficiency to operate safely and effectively in the demanding offshore environment.

Hrönn will be built as a light-duty, offshore utility ship servicing the offshore energy, hydrographic & scientific and offshore fish-farming industries. It would also be utilized as an ROV and AUV support ship and standby vessel, able to provide firefighting support to an offshore platform working in cooperation with manned vessels. Automated Ships Ltd has progressed the original catamaran design of Hrönn since the project launch last November, opting for a monohulled vessel of steel construction, to provide more payload capacity and greater flexibility in the diverse range of operations.

BOURBON’s entry to the Hrönn project follows the recent news that it has joined forces with KONGSBERG in a new collaboration to develop digital solutions for next generation connected and autonomous vessels. The two companies will execute joint projects to develop new ways of efficient operations in the offshore services industry, with a fast time-to-market.

KONGSBERG will contribute its technical expertise and deliver all major marine equipment necessary for the design, construction, and operation of Hrönn, including all systems for dynamic positioning and navigation, satellite and position reference, marine automation and communication. Its vessel control systems including K-Pos dynamic positioning, K-Chief automation and K-Bridge ECDIS and Radar will be replicated at an Onshore Control Centre, allowing full remote operations of Hrönn.

Hrönn’s sea trials will take place in Norway’s officially designated automated vessel test bed in the Trondheim fjord and will be conducted under the auspices of DNV GL and the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA). The Hrönn will ultimately be classed and flagged, respectively.

“In this era of digitalization of industrial services, we are pleased to join this forward-looking project thus demonstrating the positioning of BOURBON as a world reference in terms of operational excellence and customer experience,” said Gael Bodénès, Chief Operating Officer, BOURBON Corporation.

“BOURBON is a world leading marine services company and we are confident that alongside KONGSBERG as technology lead, they will provide a valuable contribution to the design and operation of Hrönn,” said Brett Phaneuf, CEO, Automated Ships Ltd.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with such expert partners in the development of Hrönn, a vessel that will show how digitalisation and autonomy have the potential to revolutionise the offshore services market,” said Stene Førsund, EVP Global Sales and Marketing, Kongsberg Maritime.

http://gcaptain.com/bourbon-joins-project-to-build-first-autonomous-offshore-vessel/
 

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#47
ABS Joins Alliance Developing Unmanned Cargo Ship

July 26, 2017 by gCaptain


A conceptual design by Rolls-Royce of a 1,000 TEU unmanned feeder vessel. Image: Rolls-Royce

The American Bureau of Shipping has joined a China-led alliance whose goal is to develop and deliver an unmanned, autonomous cargo ship by the end of 2021.

ABS, a leading classification society to the maritime and offshore industry, announced Wednesday it will become a member of the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance to work with industry partners, including class organizations, shipyards, equipment manufacturers and designers, to advance autonomous shipping.

Launched in Shanghai in June, the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance, chaired by the Chinese holding company HNA Technology Group Co, was formed with nine members, including CCS, China Ship Research & Development Institute, Shanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research Institute, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co., Marine Design Research Institute of China (MARIC), Rolls-Royce, and Wartsila. The alliance has set the goal of delivering an unmanned cargo ship by October 2021.

Launch of the alliance comes as more and more companies in the shipping industry turn towards autonomous technologies to incorporate into areas of their businesses.

“Increased digitization, advanced technologies and new levels of connectivity are changing the way the maritime industry operates,” says ABS Greater China Division President Eric Kleess. “In the coming years, we will see significant changes in the way ships are designed and built, with a strong drive to develop autonomous vessels especially in China. As a key member of this alliance, ABS is aligned closely with industry to support safer and more sustainable maritime operations. ”

ABS said the design of the unmanned vessel will integrate features of independent decision-making, autonomous navigation, environmental perception and remote control.

“Through this collaborative effort, we will apply the latest technologies to develop a new autonomous ship concept,” says HNA Technology Group Vice Chairman Li Weijian. “The newly formed alliance is advancing new innovations in ship design and operations, and also working to promote the safe adoption of these assets in the market.”

Filed Under: Maritime News Tagged With: abs, autonomous shipping, unmanned ships

http://gcaptain.com/abs-joins-alliance-to-develop-unmanned-cargo-ship/
 

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#48
Cyber Threats Prompt Return of Radio for Ship Navigation
August 7, 2017 by Reuters



Photo: Shutterstock.com / Zoya_Yakovleva


By Jonathan Saul LONDON, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The risk of cyber attacks targeting ships’ satellite navigation is pushing nations to delve back through history and develop back-up systems with roots in World War Two radio technology.

Ships use GPS (Global Positioning System) and other similar devices that rely on sending and receiving satellite signals, which many experts say are vulnerable to jamming by hackers.

About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea and the stakes are high in increasingly crowded shipping lanes. Unlike aircraft, ships lack a back-up navigation system and if their GPS ceases to function, they risk running aground or colliding with other vessels.

South Korea is developing an alternative system using an earth-based navigation technology known as eLoran, while the United States is planning to follow suit. Britain and Russia have also explored adopting versions of the technology, which works on radio signals.

The drive follows a series of disruptions to shipping navigation systems in recent months and years. It was not clear if they involved deliberate attacks; navigation specialists say solar weather effects can also lead to satellite signal loss.

Last year, South Korea said hundreds of fishing vessels had returned early to port after their GPS signals were jammed by hackers from North Korea, which denied responsibility.

In June this year, a ship in the Black Sea reported to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center that its GPS system had been disrupted and that over 20 ships in the same area had been similarly affected.

U.S. Coast Guard officials also said interference with ships’ GPS disrupted operations at a port for several hours in 2014 and at another terminal in 2015. It did not name the ports.

A cyber attack that hit A.P. Moller-Maersk’s IT systems in June 2017 and made global headlines did not involve navigation but underscored the threat hackers pose to the technology dependent and inter-connected shipping industry. It disrupted port operations across the world.

The eLoran push is being led by governments who see it as a means of protecting their national security. Significant investments would be needed to build a network of transmitter stations to give signal coverage, or to upgrade existing ones dating back decades when radio navigation was standard.

U.S. engineer Brad Parkinson, known as the “father of GPS” and its chief developer, is among those who have supported the deployment of eLoran as a back-up.

“ELoran is only two-dimensional, regional, and not as accurate, but it offers a powerful signal at an entirely different frequency,” Parkinson told Reuters. “It is a deterrent to deliberate jamming or spoofing (giving wrong positions), since such hostile activities can be rendered ineffective,” said Parkinson, a retired U.S. airforce colonel.

KOREAN STATIONS
Cyber specialists say the problem with GPS and other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) is their weak signals, which are transmitted from 12,500 miles above the Earth and can be disrupted with cheap jamming devices that are widely available.

Developers of eLoran – the descendant of the loran (long-range navigation) system created during World War II – say it is difficult to jam as the average signal is an estimated 1.3 million times stronger than a GPS signal.

To do so would require a powerful transmitter, large antenna and lots of power, which would be easy to detect, they add.

Shipping and security officials say the cyber threat has grown steadily over the past decade as vessels have switched increasingly to satellite systems and paper charts have largely disappeared due to a loss of traditional skills among seafarers.

“My own view, and it is only my view, is we are too dependent on GNSS/GPS position fixing systems,” said Grant Laversuch, head of safety management at P&O Ferries. “Good navigation is about cross-checking navigation systems, and what better way than having two independent electronic systems.”

Lee Byeong-gon, an official at South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, said the government was working on establishing three sites for eLoran test operations by 2019 with further ones to follow after that.

But he said South Korea was contending with concerns from local residents at Gangwha Island, off the west coast.

“The government needs to secure a 40,000 pyeong (132,200 square-meter) site for a transmitting station, but the residents on the island are strongly opposed to having the 122 to 137 meter-high antenna,” Lee told Reuters.

In July, the United States House of Representatives passed a bill which included provisions for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to establish an eLoran system.

“This bill will now go over to the Senate and we hope it will be written into law,” said Dana Goward, president of the U.S. non-profit Resilient Navigation and Timing Foundation, which supports the deployment of eLoran.

“We don’t see any problems with the President (Donald Trump) signing off on this provision.”

The previous administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both pledged to establish eLoran but never followed through. However, this time there is more momentum.

In May, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats told a Senate committee the global threat of electronic warfare attacks against space systems would rise in coming years.

“Development will very likely focus on jamming capabilities against … Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS),” he said.

SPOOFING DANGERS
Russia has looked to establish a version of eLoran called eChayka, aimed at the Arctic region as sea lanes open up there, but the project has stalled for now.

“It is obvious that we need such a system,” said Vasily Redkozubov, deputy director general of Russia’s Internavigation Research and Technical Centre.

“But there are other challenges apart from eChayka, and (Russia has) not so many financial opportunities at the moment.”

Cost is a big issue for many countries. Some European officials also say their own satellite system Galileo is more resistant to jamming than other receivers.

But many navigation technology experts say the system is hackable. “Galileo can help, particularly with spoofing, but it is also a very weak signal at similar frequencies,” said Parkinson.

The reluctance of many countries to commit to a back-up means there is little chance of unified radio coverage globally for many years at least, and instead disparate areas of cover including across some national territories and shared waterways.

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland had conducted trials of eLoran but the initiative was pulled after failing to garner interest from European countries whose transmitters were needed to create a signal network.

France, Denmark, Norway and Germany have all decided to turn off or dismantle their old radio transmitter stations.

Britain is maintaining a single eLoran transmitter in northern England.

Taviga, a British-U.S. company, is looking to commercially operate an eLoran network, which would provide positioning, navigation and timing (PNT).

“There would need to be at least one other transmitter probably on the UK mainland for a timing service,” said co-founder Charles Curry, adding that the firm would need the British government to commit to using the technology.

Andy Proctor, innovation lead for satellite navigation and PNT with Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, said: “We would consider supporting a commercially run and operated service, which we may or may not buy into as a customer.”

Current government policy was “not to run large operational pieces of infrastructure like an eLoran system,” he added. (Additional reporting by Terje Solsvik in Oslo, Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Copenhagen, Yuna Park in Seoul, Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow, Sophie Louet in Paris, Madeline Chambers in Berlin and Mark Hosenball in London; Editing by Pravin Char)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

Filed Under: Interesting, News Tagged With: electronic navigation, eloran, gps, Navigation

http://gcaptain.com/cyber-threats-prompt-return-of-radio-for-ship-navigation/
 

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It's a wonder anyone made it to their destinations prior to GPS. lol
What a freakin' crutch that's become.
I still know how to read a map and compass and can plot a course with them. Lots of people today don't even know what a compass is.
 

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#51
GPS, Loran, e-loran or even hybrid matrix navigational systems are only one hurdle to overcome for autonomous shipping.

I still say the civil lawyers will put a halt to it with the very first lawsuit claiming the ship and its owners violated LotS Article 98 or U.S. Code § 2304 willfully and negligently for failing to take this into account in their designs and operational protocols and allowing the ship to bypass another vessel in distress. Almost all countries have maritime laws like this so there will be no safe harbor (pun intended) for autonomous vessel owners and operators or their insurance companies who will have to pay up.

Article 98 (1) of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) requires masters of vessels sailing under the flag of signatory States to render assistance to those in distress at sea. It is primarily a State duty fulfilled by the master of the vessel.

46 U.S. Code § 2304 - Duty to provide assistance at sea: A master or individual in charge of a vessel shall render assistance to any individual found at sea in danger of being lost, so far as the master or individual in charge can do so without serious danger to the master’s or individual’s vessel or individuals on board.
When you have a master-less vessel who provides the assistance? No one therefore people will be lost and the lawyers will have a field day in the courts.
 

oldgaranddad

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#52
I still know how to read a map and compass and can plot a course with them. Lots of people today don't even know what a compass is.
Isn't that a fidget spinner for cartographers?
 

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#53
When you have a master-less vessel who provides the assistance? No one therefore people will be lost and the lawyers will have a field day in the courts.
Why couldn't the UN simply amend the Treaty to exclude master-less (autonomous) ships? If there is no one on board to actually help even if the ship did stop, the end result would be the same as if the autonomous ship didn't exist at all.
 

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Why couldn't the UN simply amend the Treaty to exclude master-less (autonomous) ships? If there is no one on board to actually help even if the ship did stop, the end result would be the same as if the autonomous ship didn't exist at all.
Amending a treaty would require all the signatories to re-ratify it. Odds of that happening are slim.
 

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Amending a treaty would require all the signatories to re-ratify it. Odds of that happening are slim.
If it's being done money purposes, they'll get'er done. I wouldn't think RR would put much into the idea if there wasn't an answer to the problem you are correctly pointing out. Treaties do matter.
....but they're talking many years before this idea of crew-less ships would even set sail for real, right? If so, by then I'm thinkin' they'll have it all worked out. One way or another.
 

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#57
Can the US Navy stay out of the way, we will find out.
 

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#59
Nippon Yusen to Test Remote-Controlled Vessel in Quest for Autonomous Ships

August 23, 2017 by Bloomberg


Photo: VladSV / Shutterstock.com

By Chris Cooper and Kiyotaka Matsuda (Bloomberg) — Japan’s largest container line plans to test a remote-controlled vessel across the Pacific Ocean in 2019 as it pursues fully autonomous technology that could disrupt the global shipping industry.

Nippon Yusen K.K. is considering using a large container ship for the test from Japan to North America and a crew will be on standby for safe operations, Hideyuki Ando, a senior general manager at Monohakobi Technology Institute, said in an interview Wednesday. The institute, a unit of Nippon Yusen, conducts research and development in areas such as safe vessel operation, energy saving, and logistics.

The Tokyo-based cargo carrier is joining a list of companies worldwide working to develop vessels without sailors that may help the $334 billion global shipping industry cut costs and boost safety. The technology may help eliminate human errors that are responsible for a vast majority of all marine casualties.

First Zero-Emission, Fully-Autonomous Container Ship Planned for 2020

The U.S. Navy’s warships were involved in four serious incidents in the western Pacific this year, resulting in loss of lives and damage to defense hardware. In the latest accident this week, 10 American sailors were reported missing and five injured after an oil tanker rammed into the USS John S. McCain, a guided missile destroyer, off the Malacca Strait — home to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, and fertilizer producer Yara International ASA are all studying the introduction of autonomous ships. Yara is aiming to test remote operation in coastal waters in 2019, it said in May.

Crash Avoidance
Nippon Yusen said last year that it tied up with radar manufacturer Furuno Electric Co. and communication equipment-makers Japan Radio Co. and Tokyo Keiki Inc. to study crash avoidance techniques using autonomous ships.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., Japan’s second- and third-largest shipping lines, are also working on autonomous ship technology but declined to say when they would sail a test ship.

Japan’s government is backing research into data transmission and setting domestic and international standards for automated ships. Its goal is to have the cutting-edge transmission technology included on 250 ships built domestically by 2025, it said in a white paper in June.

© 2017 Bloomberg L.P

http://gcaptain.com/nippon-yusen-test-remote-controlled-vessel-quest-autonomous-ships/


Filed Under: News Tagged With: autonomous shipping, NYK line
 

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#60
Rolls-Royce Unveils Autonomous Naval Vessel Concept

September 12, 2017 by gCaptain


Illustration courtesy Rolls-Royce Plc

Rolls-Royce has unveiled plans for an autonomous naval vessel that it will market to international navies as interest from the naval sector increases.

Rolls-Royce says the autonomous vessel will have a range 3,500 nautical miles and is designed for single-role missions such as patrol & surveillance, mine detection, and fleet screening. The fully-electric concept vessel is capable of operating beyond the horizon for over 100 days and will displace 700 tonnes and reach speeds above 25 knots.

“Rolls-Royce is seeing interest from major navies in autonomous, rather than remote controlled, ships,” according to Benjamin Thorp, Rolls-Royce, General Manager Naval Electrics, Automation and Control. “Such ships offer a way to deliver increased operational capability, reduce the risk to crew and cut both operating and build costs.”

For the naval concept, the vessel will feature a fully electric propulsion system, requiring fewer auxiliary systems and offering more reliability than mechanical counterparts. The concept has two Rolls-Royce MTU 4000 Series gensets providing around 4MW electrical power to a 1.5MW propulsion drive, and permanent Magnet Azipull thrusters with a bow-mounted thruster for high maneuverability. To reduce fuel consumption and extend operational range, solar panels and an additional 3000 kWh of energy storage to be used during low-speed standby operations.


Rolls-Royce

In recent years Rolls-Royce has positioned itself at the forefront of the development of autonomous and unmanned ships within the commercial sector. But due to ever-increasing pressure on defense budgets, Rolls-Royce says international navies have also taken notice of unmanned technology as a possible route to reducing with costs associated with crew. The removal of manpower will also radically change naval ship design, making vessels smaller and bringing immediate cost savings.

Yet Rolls-Royce acknowledges that the absence of crew increases the need for very reliable power and propulsion systems. To combat the issue, Rolls-Royce has created what it believes to be the world’s first Intelligent Awareness System, combining multiple sensors with Artificial Intelligence and system redundancy. A suite of autonomous support tools, developed by Rolls-Royce, will help with Energy Management, Equipment Health Monitoring and predictive and remote maintenance.

“The operational profile of these platforms will be more complicated than commercial unmanned vessels,” says Thorp. “They will be expected to sail from A to B on patrol, avoiding ships and other navigational hazards. At some point between A and B, they will detect something, maybe a submarine, and the mission will change to tracking and surveillance. The power and propulsion system will then need to adopt an ultra-quiet mode to avoid detection.”


Rolls-Royce

“Over the next 10 years or so, Rolls-Royce expects to see the introduction of medium sized unmanned platforms, particularly in leading navies, as the concept of mixed manned and unmanned fleets develops. With our experience and capabilities we expect to lead the field,” Thorp said.

http://gcaptain.com/rolls-royce-unveils-autonomous-naval-vessel-concept/
 

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#61
The Navy will still run into them. They are so far down the OC trap it would take at least 10+ years to train up good NCO's to bring back readiness.
 

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#63
Boston Startups Teaching Boats to Drive Themselves

September 18, 2017 by Bloomberg


Photo: Sea Machines Robotics

By Joshua Brustein (Bloomberg) — Frank Marino sat in a repurposed U.S. Coast Guard boat bobbing in Boston Harbor one morning late last month. He pointed the boat straight at a buoy several hundred yards away, while his colleague Mohamed Saad Ibn Seddik used a laptop to set the vehicle on a course that would run right into it. Then Ibn Seddik flipped the boat into autonomous driving mode. They sat back as the vessel moved at a modest speed of six knots, smoothly veering right to avoid the buoy, and then returned to its course.

In a slightly apologetic tone, Marino acknowledged the experience wasn’t as harrowing as barreling down a highway in an SUV that no one is steering. “It’s not like a self-driving car, where the wheel turns on its own,” he said. Ibn Seddik tapped in directions to get the boat moving back the other way at twice the speed. This time, the vessel kicked up a wake, and the turn felt sharper, even as it gave the buoy the same wide berth as it had before. As far as thrills go, it’d have to do. Ibn Seddik said going any faster would make everyone on board nauseous.

The two men work for Sea Machines Robotics Inc., a three-year old company developing computer systems for work boats that can make them either remote-controllable or completely autonomous. In May, the company spent $90,000 to buy the Coast Guard hand-me-down at a government auction. Employees ripped out one of the four seats in the cabin to make room for a metal-encased computer they call a “first-generation autonomy cabinet.” They painted the hull bright yellow and added the words “Unmanned Vehicle” in big, red letters. Cameras are positioned at the stern and bow, and a dome-like radar system and a digital GPS unit relay additional information about the vehicle’s surroundings. The company named its new vessel Steadfast.

Autonomous maritime vehicles haven’t drawn as much the attention as self-driving cars, but they’re hitting the waters with increased regularity. Huge shipping interests, such as Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, Tokyo-based fertilizer producer Nippon Yusen K.K. and BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s largest mining company, have all recently announced plans to use driverless ships for large-scale ocean transport. Boston has become a hub for marine technology startups focused on smaller vehicles, with a handful of companies like Sea Machines building their own autonomous systems for boats, diving drones and other robots that operate on or under the water.

As Marino and Ibn Seddik were steering Steadfast back to dock, another robot boat trainer, Michael Benjamin, motored past them. Benjamin, a research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a regular presence on the local waters. His program in marine autonomy, a joint effort by the school’s mechanical engineering and computer science departments, serves as something of a ballast for Boston’s burgeoning self-driving boat scene. Benjamin helps engineers find jobs at startups and runs an open-source software project that’s crucial to many autonomous marine vehicles.

He’s also a sort of maritime-technology historian. A tall, white-haired man in a baseball cap, shark t-shirt and boat shoes, Benjamin said he’s spent the last 15 years “making vehicles wet.” He has the U.S. armed forces to thank for making his autonomous work possible. The military sparked the field of marine autonomy decades ago, when it began demanding underwater robots for mine detection, Benjamin explained from a chair on MIT’s dock overlooking the Charles River. Eventually, self-driving software worked its way into all kinds of boats. These systems tended to chart a course based on a specific script, rather than sensing and responding to their environments. But a major shift came about a decade ago, when manufacturers began allowing customers to plug in their own autonomy systems, according to Benjamin. “Imagine where the PC revolution would have gone if the only one who could write software on an IBM personal computer was IBM,” he said.

In 2006, Benjamin launched his open-source software project. With it, a computer is able to take over a boat’s navigation-and-control system. Anyone can write programs for it. The project is funded by the U.S. Office for Naval Research and Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit. Benjamin said there are dozens of types of vehicles using the software, which is called MOOS-IvP.

Startups using MOOS-IvP said it has created a kind of common vocabulary. “If we had a proprietary system, we would have had to develop training and train new employees,” said Ibn Seddik. “Fortunately for us, Mike developed a course that serves exactly that purpose.”

Teaching a boat to drive itself is easier than conditioning a car in some ways. They typically don’t have to deal with traffic, stoplights or roundabouts. But water is unique challenge. “The structure of the road, with traffic lights, bounds your problem a little bit,” said Benjamin. “The number of unique possible situations that you can bump into is enormous.” At the moment, underwater robots represent a bigger chunk of the market than boats. Sales are expected to hit $4.6 billion in 2020, more than double the amount from 2015, according to ABI Research. The biggest customer is the military.

Several startups hope to change that. Michael Johnson, Sea Machines’ chief executive officer, said the long-term potential for self-driving boats involves teams of autonomous vessels working in concert. In many harbors, multiple tugs bring in large container ships, communicating either through radio or by whistle. That could be replaced by software controlling all the boats as a single system, Johnson said.

Sea Machines’ first customer is Marine Spill Response Corp., a nonprofit group funded by oil companies. The organization operates 14 oil spill response teams that consist of a 210-foot ship paired with a 32-foot boat, which work together to drag a device collecting oil. Self-driving boats could help because staffing the 32-foot boat in choppy waters or at night can be dangerous, but the theory needs proper vetting, said Judith Roos, a vice president for MSRC. “It’s too early to say, ‘We’re going to go out and buy 20 widgets.’”

Another local startup, Autonomous Marine Systems Inc., has been sending boats about 10 miles out to sea and leaving them there for weeks at a time. AMS’s vehicles are designed to operate for long stretches, gathering data in wind farms and oil fields. One vessel is a catamaran dubbed the Datamaran, a name that first came from an employee’s typo, said AMS CEO Ravi Paintal. The company also uses Benjamin’s software platform. Paintal said AMS’s longest missions so far have been 20 days, give or take. “They say when your boat can operate for 30 days out in the ocean environment, you’ll be in the running for a commercial contract,” he said.

When commercial boat captains used to spot AMS’s vehicle in the waters, they often notified the Coast Guard, thinking that someone must have fallen off. Its fiberglass sail now says “unmanned vehicle” and includes a phone number for a passersby to call with concerns. Since making that change, Paintal said he’s received two calls. One was from the Boston Fire Department, and the other was from a pleasure boater. In both cases, their question was the same: What is this thing?

The Steadfast also draws its share of curiosity. Sometimes people mistake it for an actual Coast Guard boat and hide their beers. Other times, they notice the “Unmanned Vehicle” sign, keep their beers out and steer up close. They’re usually disappointed to find actual humans aboard. “They’ll say, ‘It says unmanned, but you’re all in there!’” said Ibn Seddik. “And we’re, like, ‘Yeah, we’re testing it.’”

© 2017 Bloomberg L.P

http://gcaptain.com/boston-startups-teaching-boats-drive/
 

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#66
Final Design for First Zero-Emission Autonomous Containership Unveiled in Norway

September 29, 2017 by gCaptain


Photo: Ole Martin Wold

The final design of is what is looking to become the world’s first autonomous and zero emission containership was released Friday in Trondheim, Norway.

Norwegian fertilizer producer announced the first-of-its-kind vessel in May in partnership with maritime technology company Kongsberg.

The planned fully-electric and autonomous container feeder ship, to be named YARA Birkeland, will cut emissions from road transport when it starts shipping products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to Norway’s Brevik and Larvik ports beginning in 2019. The vessel will start off with manned operations, but could transition to autonomous, unmmanned operations as soon as 2020.

A six-meter long model of the final design of the vessel was launched in SINTEF Ocean’s 80 meter long sea laboratory. Design for the vessel is provided by Marin Teknikk.

A shipyard to build the vessel will be selected by the end of 2017, according to Yara. The plan is to launch Yara Birkeland in the first quarter of 2019.

“With this new autonomous battery-driven container vessel we move transport from road to sea and thereby reduce noise and dust emissions, improve the safety of local roads, and reduce emissions,” says President and CEO of Yara, Svein Tore Holsether. “It was a special moment in Trondheim when, together with our partners — Kongsberg, Marin Teknikk , SINTEF and ENOVA — we witness the design and demonstration of a miniature Yara Birkeland for the first time.”

If all goes according to plan, Yara Birkeland will be game-changer for global maritime transportation.

The cutting-edge, six meters long and 2.4 tonnes model is equipped with miniaturized technology that will be incorporated into the real ship, including a fully working thruster system designed by Kongsberg. It will now undergo comprehensive testing at SINTEF’s test tanks before construction of the full-scale vessel starts.

“Initial tests of the model were successful, proving both concept and the technology,” says Geir Håøy, President and CEO of Kongsberg. “The testing at SINTEF Ocean marks an important milestone in the development. This vessel is important for the entire maritime industry, and Yara deserves praise for their initiative and commitment. Yara Birkeland is the start of a major contribution to fulfilling national and international environmental impact goals, and will be a global milestone for seaborne transportation.”

To help develop the Yara Birkeland, the Norwegian government has provided a grant of almost $17 million (NOK 133.6 million) to Yara towards the construction of the ship. This will cover about one third of the estimated cost.

“For the private sector, it is essential to have the government’s support when we develop new technology and deliver bold innovations. It allows us to be daring,” says Holsether.

“The interest in autonomous transport is great, but at the same time, many are skeptical and question the safety. The key contribution from this project is to demonstrate that autonomous and electric sea transport is feasible, and will deliver the results we want, “says Nils Kristian Nakstad, CEO of ENOVA, a Norwegian government entity responsible for promoting and supporting environmentally friendly production and energy consumption.

Yara Birkeland will be named after Yaras’s founder, Kristian Birkeland.

By moving this transport from road to sea, Yara will remove 40,000 journeys with diesel-powered truck transport every year.

http://gcaptain.com/final-design-fo...-autonomous-containership-unveiled-in-norway/
 

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#67
Rolls-Royce to Use Google Machine Learning in Quest for Autonomous Ships

October 3, 2017 by gCaptain


A conceptual design by Rolls-Royce of an 1,000 TEU unmanned feeder vessel. Image credit: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with Google to gain access to the tech giant’s intelligent awareness systems to help make existing vessels safer and eventually leading to the development of autonomous, unmanned ships.

The agreement, believed to be the first in the marine sector, was signed Tuesday at the Google Cloud Summit in Sweden. It allows Rolls-Royce to use Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine to further train the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) based object classification system for detecting, identifying and tracking the objects a vessel can encounter at sea. The Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine uses the same neural net-based machine intelligence software that powers many of Google’s products, including image and voice search.

“While intelligent awareness systems will help to facilitate an autonomous future, they can benefit maritime businesses right now making vessels and their crews safer and more efficient. By working with Google Cloud we can make these systems better faster, saving lives,” said Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce, SVP Ship Intelligence.

Machine Learning is a set of algorithms, tools, and techniques that mimic human learning to solve specific problems. By analyzing existing data sets, machine learning can be used to recognize patterns in data, making predictions from previously unseen data. The bigger the data set, the more complex the patterns the model can recognize and the more accurate the predictions.

“Rolls-Royce will use Google Cloud’s software to create bespoke machine learning models which can interpret large and diverse marine data sets created by Rolls-Royce,” the company said in a statement. “Rolls-Royce’s expertise in the maritime sector will be used to prepare the data to train models, ensuring that it is relevant and in sufficient quantity to create statistical significance. As part of the machine learning process, the models’ predictions are evaluated in practical marine applications, allowing the models to be further refined.”

“By accessing this software through the Cloud, the models can be developed from anywhere in the world and are immediately accessible globally allowing thousands of users. Models can therefore be trained on large quantities (terabytes) of data. This will be essential as autonomous ships become commonplace,” Rolls-Royce said.

In the longer term, Rolls-Royce and Google intend to undertake joint research on unsupervised and multimodal learning. The two companies will also test whether speech recognition and synthesis are viable solutions for human-machine interfaces in marine applications, as well as work on optimizing the performance of local neural network computing on board ships using open source machine intelligence software libraries such as Google’s TensorFlow.

“Intelligent awareness systems will make vessels safer, easier and more efficient to operate by providing crew with an enhanced understanding of their vessel’s surroundings. This will be achieved by fusing data from a range of sensors with information from existing ship systems, such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar. Data from other sources, including global databases, will also have a role,” Rolls-Royce said.

http://gcaptain.com/rolls-royce-to-use-google-machine-learning-in-quest-for-autonomous-ships/
 

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#68
Drug smugglers are 'hacking into computers that control worldwide shipping' sparking fears terrorists could deliberately capsize one of the enormous vessels
  • Drug smugglers are hacking into computers that control worldwide shipping
  • The gangs gain remote access when a widely used system is poorly protected
  • Experts fear it could also lead to terrorists deliberately capsizing a huge ship


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5117693/Fears-ships-capsized-drug-smuggling-hackers.html#ixzz4zUkcZcqd
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
 

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#69
I wonder how it handles pirates?

Satellite driven 50 cals forward and aft??
Post #3 a year and a half ago .............. I think the people here could straighten the world out in a month. (yea a lot of well deserving people would cooperate by visiting the killintons to visit arkanside.
 

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#70
Rolls-Royce Opens Autonomous Ship Research Center in Finland

January 26, 2018 by gCaptain


Rolls-Royce hosts a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships in Turku, Finland, January 25, 2018. Photo: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has opened a state-of-the-art research facility in Turku, Finland, designed to aid in the further development of autonomous ship technology for the global shipping industry.

The new Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships includes a Remote and Autonomous Experience Space aimed at showcasing the autonomous ship technologies Rolls-Royce has already introduced, as well as those in the development stage.

“There is great global interest in autonomous vehicles and vessels as a future means of transport,” said Finnish Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner. “The opening of the Rolls-Royce Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Ships here in Turku, a maritime city with a history of technological innovation, will help achieve our goal of digitalizing the country’s transport sector.”

The new R&D Centre enables Rolls-Royce and its partners to carry out projects focussed on autonomous navigation, the development of land-based control centers, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.

Speaking at the official opening on 25 January 2018, Rolls-Royce President Marine Mikael Makinen said: “I’m proud to say that the R&D centre is now up and running and that all stakeholders, partners and customers will be able to see here what a remote-controlled and autonomous maritime future could look like, and work with us to shape the future. The experience space that is part of the center here in Turku, and a similar one we have in our Technology Centre in Norway, is aimed at demonstrating to our customers the very tangible benefits of what is often considered an intangible technology.”

The opening of the center comes exactly six years after Rolls-Royce launched its first-ever autonomous ship development project, known as the User Experience for Complex Systems, or UXUS.

“The center allows us to more accurately communicate our capabilities, what we have available today and what will be available tomorrow,” said Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce Senior Vice President of Ship Intelligence. “It will completely focus on the development of solutions capable of smoothing the maritime industry’s transition to the digital age. An autonomous maritime ecosystem will open up unprecedented opportunities.”

http://gcaptain.com/rolls-royce-opens-autonomous-ship-research-center-in-finland/
 

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#71
Manned ships dont seem to be able to avoid collisions, imagine the wrecks when ships are un manned
 

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#72
Kongsberg, Robert Allan Unveil Unmanned Fire Boat Design

February 5, 2018 by gCaptain


An illustration of the RALamander 2000. Photo: Kongsberg/Robert Allan

Norwegian technology company Kongsberg Maritime has teamed up with naval architects and engineers at Vancouver-based Robert Allan on the development of unmanned, remotely-operated fireboats for ports.

If successful, the two partners said the new fireboat has potential to radically change the way first responders attack dangerous fires while in port. The so-called RALamander fireboat will offer close-range firefighting while keeping firefighters out of harm’s way.

“Fires involving containers, petrochemicals, shore-side structures or vessels can be attacked more quickly in situations where toxic smoke or explosion risk may delay or even prevent manned assets from responding effectively. RALamander can serve as a force multiplier with conventional firefighting assets, or be deployed on its own,” the companies said in a press release announcing the new boats.

The first in the series, the 20 m RALamander 2000, will be equipped with Fi-Fi 1 capability with a total pumping capacity of 2400 m3/hr with optional foam. A retractable mast will bring one of the three monitors to a high point of attack for shipboard or dock fires, while a range of auto functions is being planned for firefighting including dynamic positioning, water spray target holding, and ‘line protection’ where RALamander automatically moves back and forth along a line while directing protective spray cover onshore structures or vessels threatened by a fire. A low-profile design also makes it possible to attack under-wharf and marina fires remotely. A Grapnel Emergency Towing (GET) system means that if a burning vessel poses a threat to its surroundings, the RALamander ca be used to tow it a safe distance.

The design will feature a Kongsberg Maritime control and communications system a high-bandwidth, low latency wireless link to a semi-portable RALamander operator console, which can be located on a manned fireboat or other vessels such as a tug or pilot boat. Kongsberg said the system will also feature versatile architecture that will leave the door open to a range of autonomy levels, which are configurable or future-upgradable to suit the operator or port’s evolving needs.

Filed Under: News Tagged With: fireboat, Firefighting, kongsberg, robert allan

http://gcaptain.com/kongsberg-robert-allan-unveil-unmanned-fire-boat/
 

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#73
Maersk CEO on Unmanned Ships: ‘Not In My Lifetime’

February 16, 2018 by Bloomberg




By Corine van Kapel / Shutterstock


By Christian Wienberg (Bloomberg) — The chief executive officer of the world’s biggest shipping company says it’s unlikely container vessels will operate without humans in his lifetime.

A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S has already pushed through enough cuts to reduce crew sizes in response to the spread of automation, CEO Soren Skou said in an interview. He says the workforce has now reached a floor and there’s no more room to get rid of humans.

“Even if the technology advances, I don’t expect we will be allowed to sail around with 400-meter long container ships, weighing 200,000 tonnes without any human beings on board,” the 53-year-old CEO said. “I don’t think it will be a driver of efficiency, not in my time.”

There are more than 6,000 ships in the global container fleet and they can transport 22 million standard 20-foot boxes, industry consultant Alphaliner estimates. Ships have grown bigger, but efficiency and automation have kept crew sizes in check, meaning Maersk needs less than half as many sailors to transport a container as it did 20 years ago.

See Related: Boston Startups Are Teaching Boats to Drive Themselves

Container ships are unlikely to grow much bigger, Maersk has said. Skou says there’s little cost benefit in getting rid of more humans. To be sure, Maersk has developed a self-sailing tug boat at its Svitzer towage unit, but the concept won’t be rolled out to container vessels because “is not a cornerstone of our strategy,” Skou said.

It’s not that Maersk is a stranger to innovation. The Copenhagen-based company, which often has led the industry in new ship designs, is investing more than ever in going digital. Last month, it formed a joint venture with IBM to develop the use of blockchain technology to manage and track cross-border trade.

Amazon Threat Has Maersk Racing to Stop Clients Becoming Rivals

The marine unit of Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc is the pioneer in developing self-sailing technologies. Its CEO, Warren East, has sharpened the focus on autonomous shipping as a future business to address a downturn in the offshore oil industry. But even after cutting 4,200 jobs, the unit has remained unprofitable and was put up for sale last month.

“I must admit, it’s not hugely interesting for us,” Skou said.

© 2018 Bloomberg L.P

Filed Under: Interesting, Maritime News Tagged With: autonomous shipping, maersk, maersk line, unmanned ships

http://gcaptain.com/maersk-ceo-on-unmanned-ships-not-in-my-lifetime/
 

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#74
World’s First Autonomous Shipping Company Established in Norway
April 4, 2018 by Mike Schuler



A test model of the final design Yara Birkeland, which is vying to become the world’s first autonomous and zero emission containership. Photo: Ole Martin Wold


The world’s first shipping company focussing entirely on autonomous ships is being established in Norway as the shipping industry continues its push towards autonomous technology.

Shipping group Wilhelmsen and technology firm KONGSBERG, both from Norway, have joined forces to establish the new company, named Massterly, which will launch later this year offering the complete value chain for autonomous ships, from design and development, to control systems, logistics services and vessel operations.

“As a world-leading maritime nation, Norway has taken a position at the forefront in developing autonomous ships. Through the creation of the new company named Massterly, we take the next step on this journey by establishing infrastructure and services to design and operate vessels, as well as advanced logistics solutions associated with maritime autonomous operations. Massterly will reduce costs at all levels and be applicable to all companies that have a transport need,” says Thomas Wilhelmsen, Wilhelmsen group CEO.

Massterly will have land-based control centers established to monitor and operate autonomous ships in Norway and internationally.
“With a combined 360 years of experience, Massterly will benefit from KONGSBERG`s unique technological expertise and solutions, and Wilhelmsen’s world-leading experience in logistics and ship management operations. Norway’s position as a leading maritime nation also creates opportunities in the development of next-generation maritime personnel,” the companies said in a joint statement announcing the new company.

“Autonomy and remote operations are an important development for the maritime industry and Norway’s lead has been made possible as a result of close cooperation between the Norwegian maritime cluster and the Norwegian authorities. In recent years there has been rapid development driven by a significant increase in demand from customers worldwide, from the traditional maritime industry and others. When autonomous ships soon are a reality, Massterly will be crucial for digitalising the infrastructure and operations,” says Geir Håøy, President and CEO of KONGSBERG.

A key milestone in Norway’s push towards autonomous shipping came in May 2017 with the announcement of the world’s first fully-electric and autonomous container vessel. The feeder ship, to be named YARA Birkeland, will cut emissions from road transport when it starts shipping products from Yara’s Porsgrunn plant to Norway’s Brevik and Larvik ports beginning in 2019. The vessel will start off with manned operations, but could transition to autonomous, unmmanned operations as soon as 2020. KONGSBERG is a partner in that project.

“Currently, we are at the very beginning of this development, but we see and believe that there will be a significant market for these types of services in the near future. At first, short sea shipping will use autonomous ships. This also implies increased competitiveness to move transport from road to sea. The gains are increased efficiency and reduction of emissions. For Norway as a maritime nation, this will be an important contribution to reach the UN sustainable development goals,” says Wilhelmsen.

The new joint venture company will be based at offices in Lysaker, Norway, and be fully operational from August 2018.


http://gcaptain.com/worlds-first-autonomous-shipping-company-coming-to-norway/
 

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#75
Maersk to Test AI-Powered Situational Awareness System Aboard a Containership
April 25, 2018 by gCaptain



The AI technology will be tested aboard of Maersk’s new 3,600 TEU ice-class containerships.

Maersk Line will test what is claimed to be the world’s first AI-powered situational awareness system aboard one of its containerships.

The world’s largest shipping company has partnered with Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics to trial the tech company’s industry-leading perception and situational awareness technology aboard one of Maersk’s newbuild ice-class container ships.

“The deal is significant not only to Sea Machines and Maersk, but also to the larger maritime industry as the installation marks first time computer vision, Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and perception software will be utilized aboard a container vessel to augment and upgrade transit operations,” Sea Machines said in a press release.

The company says their system uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve at-sea situational awareness, object identification and tracking capabilities. Similar to Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) commonly found in automobiles, Sea Machines’ system uses advanced sensors to collect a continuous stream of information from a vessel’s surroundings, identify and track potential conflicts, and display information in the wheelhouse, facilitating safer and more efficient maritime operations.

“We are extremely proud that the world’s largest shipping company selected Sea Machines as their advanced perception and autonomous technology provider,” explained Michael Johnson, founder and CEO, Sea Machines. “This partnership with Maersk marks our first foray into the shipping sector and allows us to positively contribute towards the operator’s technology goals.”

“Our team first met Sea Machines around three years ago when they were developing the concepts of their first autonomous systems, and already we were impressed with their technical capability, planned product path, and practical understanding of the future needs of the marine market,” said P. Michael A. Rodey, senior innovation manager, A.P. Moller-Maersk. “For this container ship situational awareness program, we aim to prove the technology increases our safety, efficiency and reliability. Autonomous vessels are not an end goal for Maersk nor is unmanned vessels; what is more of interest is the technology along the journey and the value it brings.”

Sea Machines Robotics was founded in 2015 and builds autonomous vessel software and systems with the goal of enhancing the safety, efficiency and performance of ships, workboats and commercial vessels. The company recently introduced the world’s first industrial-grade control system providing autonomous and remote vessel control for workboats and other vessels. It is also actively developing advanced perception technology and navigation assistance technology for a range of vessel types.

The first ship in Maersk’s new ice-class containerships, named Vistula Maersk, made its maiden call recently in St. Petersburg, Russia after sailing from Rotterdam. The vessel is first of seven purpose-built newbuilds to serve the North Sea and Baltic Sea for Seago Line, the intra-Europe and short-sea carrier of Maersk. The vessels are touted as the world’s largest ice-class containerships.

http://gcaptain.com/maersk-to-test-ai-powered-situational-awareness-system-aboard-containership/
 

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#76
Global race to develop self-navigating ships leaves US behind


4 hrs ago



© Kongsberg Maritime An artist's rendering shows the YARA Birkeland, an emission-free battery-powered container ship that will operate autonomously along a fjord in Norway.

WASHINGTON — The day in which unmanned "ghost ships" ply the seas laden with cargo is fast approaching. But don't expect the drone vessels to be flying a U.S. flag.

The United States is not among the global hot spots where a revolution in autonomous commercial shipping is unfolding. One needs to look to places like Norway, Finland, Singapore and China to observe the competition for unmanned shipping.

A shipyard in Norway will soon begin building a 237-foot battery-powered electric container ship that will operate with nary a sailor aboard by 2020.

Announcement of that project and several others over the past year have rippled through maritime circles worldwide.

Finland is looking at prototypes for an autonomous ferry. China has set aside a 225-square-mile ocean area to test crewless ships. And Japanese shipping lines have formed a consortium with the goal of having 250 remote-control cargo ships by 2025.

"It's kind of a space race," said Sean T. Pribyl, a maritime attorney with the Washington firm Blank Rome. "It was a total surprise for everyone in the industry." U.S. shipping firms are not even in the game.

"We, the U.S., are behind," said Deputy Administrator Richard Balzano of the U.S. Maritime Administration, the arm of the Transportation department that deals with shipping. American commercial shipping firms are "on life support."

"Our fleets are aging out. We're not globally competitive like, say, the Chinese. Our tax systems, our standards of living, our pay rates, our union labor costs, these things all drive us to be less than competitive," Balzano said.

Battered by foreign competition, U.S. shipping lines run a total of 81 ocean-going vessels that conduct international trade, the lowest number in modern times, Balzano said.

Other factors that have hindered the commercial shipping industry's move toward autonomy include a lack of designated open-water areas to conduct testing, sea lanes that are heavily transited, and regulatory obstacles.

The U.S. isn't losing the race because a lack of technological know-how. In fact, U.S. technology in autonomous systems is world beating — but it's largely confined to the military. Earlier this year, the Navy took control of a 132-foot sensor-rich unmanned vessel, dubbed Sea Hunter, that can remain away from port for months at a time. Other anti-submarine robot ships are on order.

Pribyl estimated that U.S. commercial shipping interests lag at least five years behind some of their foreign counterparts in moving toward crewless commercial vessels.

"The U.S. commercial maritime industry is somewhat conservative in adopting new technology, and so there's a bit of wait-and-see as to what's happening in Europe," Pribyl said.

Interest is awakening in Silicon Valley — to work with European firms. Six months ago, Google partnered with the British engine maker Rolls-Royce to develop machine intelligence software to help make autonomous ships a reality. In January, Rolls-Royce opened a state-of-the-art research facility in Turku, Finland, to focus on autonomous shipping.

Proponents say unmanned ships could be safer and more environmentally friendly. But the real driver is a desire to lower costs. "In five to 10 years, they are going to start pulling people off of the ships. ... The largest cost to operate a vessel is the people. You have to feed them. You have to train them. You have to have facilities on board for them. It costs a lot of money," said Tim Barton, maritime chief engineer at Leidos, a U.S. defense company in Reston, Virginia, that helped develop the Sea Hunter.

Without crews, ships have no need for kitchens, sleeping quarters, sick bays, recreational facilities and plumbing, making more room for cargo.
The Norwegian drone vessel that will be the world's first autonomous ship is a joint project between YARA, a fertilizer conglomerate, and Kongsberg Maritime, an offshoot of a defense business. Once the ship, christened YARA Birkeland, enters autonomous operation, toting up to 120 20-foot containers per journey, it will pull congestion off Norwegian highways.

"They are replacing 40,000 truck journeys per year between their factory and their two export ports," said Peter Due, director of autonomy at Kongsberg Maritime.

The factory is in Heroya, site of a large industrial park. The crewless drone vessel will haul fertilizer along a fjord to ports in Brevik and Larvik, a journey of up to 30 nautical miles through crowded waters.

No longer will trucks pass through high-density areas with schools, leaving "emissions, dust, sound and traffic safety (concerns)," Due said.
Such coastal routes are where experts see the biggest near-term opening for autonomous vessels. By remaining in the territorial waters of a single nation, shipping lines don't have to deal with a vacuum of international regulation regarding autonomous ships.

In a second project, Kongsberg Maritime has developed a prototype for an ocean-going light-duty utility ship, dubbed the Hronn, that could take supplies to North Sea oil rigs without a crew aboard.

"One of the success factors that make Norway a leader in this is that we are a small nation, 5.3 million people. It's very, very easy to get to decision makers. We're on a first name basis with our prime minister," Due said.

Autonomy is farther off for large, ocean-going ships. Those vessels already have comparatively small crews, and a fraction of the labor costs of coastal vessels, which can eat up a third or more of operating expenses, Due said.

Bigger ships will incorporate automation more slowly.

"I don't think you'll see ... an unmanned oil tanker for quite a while," said Jan Hagen Andersen, business development manager for the Houston office of DNV GL, a global adviser and registrar to the maritime industry.

But Andersen said the autonomy revolution is coming fast in other corners of shipping.

"If you'd asked the maritime industry four or five years ago about autonomy or unmanned vessels, we would've said, no, that's all science fiction," Andersen said. "But I think today you see real commercial projects that are being developed."

In some functions, crewless boats make particular sense, such as fireboats that must get near burning ships and can be operated remotely, and tugboats, experts said.

Autonomous ships also could sidestep the human error that Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, a marine risk firm, estimates cause 75 percent to 96 percent of marine accidents.

"Avoidance or reduction of human error is a significant element" of the move toward autonomous shipping, Mark Johnson, a former Royal Navy commander now at the Shipping Group of law firm Reed Smith in London. "Insurers do see benefit in it."

Autonomous vessels will be cheaper to build, and more energy efficient. If seized by pirates, there is no crew held hostage to use as leverage for ransom. But they do have down sides. No immediate repairs are possible on an unmanned ship.

"If you were to lose the remote-control link, what happens to the vessel?" Johnson asked, saying such questions are yet to be worked out in international convention.

The future of many mariners is to have dry shoes, confined to control rooms at shipping lines, monitoring data from unmanned cargo vessels thousands of miles away.

"They can't fight it. It's coming and they know it," Balzano said.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/techn...-ships-leaves-us-behind/ar-AAwiiPj?ocid=ientp
 

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#77
When everything becomes automated, it will give humans more time to think of new ways to kill each other off.
 

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#78
When everything becomes automated, it will give humans more time to think of new ways to kill each other off.
Yeah like using automated ships to ram cruise liners, then back up and ram them over and again all the while ignoring shut down requests from its masters leaving the only option to boarding those ships and ripping out the wiring to stop them as instruments of death.

People laughed at people who said hijacked airlines could become kamikaze attacks before 2001. I'm just saying!
 

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#79
Rolls-Royce and AXA Partner on Risk Management Products for Autonomous Shipping
May 14, 2018 by gCaptain



A conceptual design by Rolls-Royce of an 1,000 TEU unmanned feeder vessel. Image credit: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce and risk management firm AXA Corporate Solutions on Monday announced they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore ways to jointly develop risk management products for autonomous shipping.

Under the LOI, the company’s will seek ways in which they can combine their respective products to bring a new offering to the marine market, utilising Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence systems and equipment and AXA’s risk analytics capabilities to current and future vessels.

Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence products, including the recently launched Intelligent Awareness product, use a wide array of sensors on-board, streaming data, allowing AXA Corporate Solutions to deliver a new level of service to marine vessels.

Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence currently offers Intelligent Awareness, Energy and Health Management products, which utilise data and analytics to support maritime operations and provide a new level of insight.

This data may also be used with AXA to manage risks currently covered by their Hull and Machinery insurance, as well as new types of products and services to support customers in volatile and difficult shipping markets. AXA is currently working on insuring autonomous cars, which is expected to play a key part in establishing standards for insuring autonomous ships.

Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce, SVP Ship Intelligence said: “Many of our products are designed to improve performance and safety on-board. By working with AXA and their knowledge of risk we hope to further improve our customer’s operations. Insurers are a key part of our vision of the future and we are excited to have AXA, an equally innovative company join us on the journey.”

In the longer term, Rolls-Royce and AXA will look at the changing risk profiles of maritime operations driven by increasing levels of remote control and automation, as well as new maritime business models enabled by unmanned ships.

Etienne Champion, CEO Asia-Pacific AXA Corporate Solutions said: “This is a continuation of AXA’s commitment to support our customers in their operations through the use of new technologies and products. This cooperation will ensure our services are ready for the next generation of shipping and will accelerate our transformation from Payer to Partner.”

Mathieu Daubin, Marine Chief Underwriting Officer, AXA Corporate Solutions said: “This cooperation reflects AXA’s continued strong focus on our Marine Specialty line of business and supports our Payer-to-Partner strategy, in line with Ambition 2020. Combining AXA’s Marine Underwriting expertise and Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence will enable both companies to deliver higher customer value through continuous innovation.”

http://gcaptain.com/rolls-royce-and-axa-partner-on-risk-management-products-for-autonomous-shipping/
 

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#80
Rolls-Royce and AXA Partner on Risk Management Products for Autonomous Shipping
May 14, 2018 by gCaptain



A conceptual design by Rolls-Royce of an 1,000 TEU unmanned feeder vessel. Image credit: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce and risk management firm AXA Corporate Solutions on Monday announced they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to explore ways to jointly develop risk management products for autonomous shipping.

Under the LOI, the company’s will seek ways in which they can combine their respective products to bring a new offering to the marine market, utilising Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence systems and equipment and AXA’s risk analytics capabilities to current and future vessels.

Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence products, including the recently launched Intelligent Awareness product, use a wide array of sensors on-board, streaming data, allowing AXA Corporate Solutions to deliver a new level of service to marine vessels.

Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence currently offers Intelligent Awareness, Energy and Health Management products, which utilise data and analytics to support maritime operations and provide a new level of insight.

This data may also be used with AXA to manage risks currently covered by their Hull and Machinery insurance, as well as new types of products and services to support customers in volatile and difficult shipping markets. AXA is currently working on insuring autonomous cars, which is expected to play a key part in establishing standards for insuring autonomous ships.

Karno Tenovuo, Rolls-Royce, SVP Ship Intelligence said: “Many of our products are designed to improve performance and safety on-board. By working with AXA and their knowledge of risk we hope to further improve our customer’s operations. Insurers are a key part of our vision of the future and we are excited to have AXA, an equally innovative company join us on the journey.”

In the longer term, Rolls-Royce and AXA will look at the changing risk profiles of maritime operations driven by increasing levels of remote control and automation, as well as new maritime business models enabled by unmanned ships.

Etienne Champion, CEO Asia-Pacific AXA Corporate Solutions said: “This is a continuation of AXA’s commitment to support our customers in their operations through the use of new technologies and products. This cooperation will ensure our services are ready for the next generation of shipping and will accelerate our transformation from Payer to Partner.”

Mathieu Daubin, Marine Chief Underwriting Officer, AXA Corporate Solutions said: “This cooperation reflects AXA’s continued strong focus on our Marine Specialty line of business and supports our Payer-to-Partner strategy, in line with Ambition 2020. Combining AXA’s Marine Underwriting expertise and Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence will enable both companies to deliver higher customer value through continuous innovation.”

http://gcaptain.com/rolls-royce-and-axa-partner-on-risk-management-products-for-autonomous-shipping/
Someone in a craft comes alongside and attaches a nuclear explosive device that is timed to go off when the ship enters port. Boom...no warning attack, hard to blame anyone.