The technology called autonomous renders unmanned operation possible for any given sector, maritime is no exception. Let’s take a look at how exactly the autonomy affects the shipping industry.
Shipbuilding dates back thousands of years. Even since the Ancient Egyptians, ships were the home of mankind who has an urge to conquer the unknown, desire to lore and interact with other contingencies. However, time and tide tarry for no. Man is becoming no more the integral part of the vessels. The technology called autonomous renders unmanned operation possible for any given sector, maritime is no exception. Autonomy and cyber-physical systems on the margin of changing the rules of the maritime industry within liquified natural gas as a fuel. It is time for eco-friendly and dependable shipping. *MASS are the cutting-edge phenomenon of the industry. But how exactly the autonomy affects the shipping industry?
Benefits on Safety
For the most part, minor or severe maritime accidents take place due to human error. *USCG report concluded that at least three-quarters of the marine incidents are human-based (Rothblum et al. 2002). Fatigue and distress, deficiencies in maintenance, misinformation and poor communication lead to navigation-related accidents. Autonomy’s response such as anti-collision alert systems, sensors and piloting assistants seems to go a long way. Even though there is not enough study to substantiate the efficiency because of the lack of enough numbers of autonomous vessels on duty, taking into account all the possible scenarios esteem that autonomy will decrease the number of navigation-related accidents.
However, depending on several studies, most devastating incidents that occur on vessels are non-navigation related such as water ingress, fire and explosion. Anyhow recent developments on autonomous technology aim to remediate. For instance, *LASH FIRE project converges to restrain inflammation without human interposition. The project is funded by European Union, still under development. The main goal is to dynamically detect, follows, and suppresses fires in real-time. LASH FIRE is not dearie in terms of disaster-avoid enterprises. After intentions concretize, the maritime industry becomes safer than ever before.
Impact on Costs
Economic anxieties grew gradually discernable. Recent circumstances were still problematical yet the Covid-19 outbreak is proving a daunting challenge. Thus, reducing costs become unavoidable for sustainable economic conditions. Luckily, autonomous technology have also therapeutic influences on the costs of shipping industry. Autonomous shipping promises at least an attenuated number of crew on board, in the meantime, unmanned vessels are also gaining popularity.
Up to %30 per cent of the operation cost is directly crew related. Autonomy not only helps reduce outgoings but also allows better flexibility in ship design. Fewer humans result in more efficient space for cargo, less expensive to perform. In short, it helps more cargo to carry with less expenditure. *MUNIN spent three years calculating the feasible effects of automation over 25 years in total outlay including crew supplies and salaries as well as fuel consumption. Results were encouraging, with over $7m saving predicted.
Impacts on Energy and Environmental Issues
If ocean shipping were a country, it would be the sixth-largest carbon emitter in the world. To put a finer point on it, shipping is more maleficient to the environment than the whole of Germany’s C02 release. About 2.2% (940 million tonnes of CO2 annually) of all global greenhouse gas emissions accounted for the shipping industry. Black carbon, tiny black particles produced by marine fuel combustion is the main responsible. Carbon released by ships not only worsens climate change it also contributes to ocean acidification which seriously impact biodiversity and combine with that outstanding chemical pollution that is emitted from ship smokestacks. Hence, naming marine fuel as a supervillain for the shipping industry is no disrespect.
*IMO has set a target to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2050. Less than thirty years ahead, autonomous ships can make this objective meaningful.
One of the first examples of autonomy on shipbuilding The Yara Birkeland, the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship designed by Kongsberg, aim for zero-emission. 2022 is a planned year for The Yara Birkeland to commence commercial operation. Even though the current route of the vessel is short-range, hopes for the ocean range voyages are realistic. Likewise, a fully-autonomous, AI-powered marine research vessel named after famous British fluyt which have great importance for American history and transported Pilgrims to New World, Mayflower substantiated the possibility of autonomic power. Without the help of a captain or fossil fuels, it crossed the Atlantic Ocean, became the first big ship to achieve this. In the foreseeable future high numbers of autonomous ships on transoceanic be expected.
Alongside autonomous technology, the maritime industry can also get rid of its notoriety stemming from spill events. Enormous strides have been made in the maritime industry during the last fifty years of period by reducing oil spills to a large extent. Additively, with World’s first autonomous spill-response vessel produced by Sea Machine Robotics and tested by U.S. Coast Guard, it will take a step further. To reduce display to toxins and hazards, the remote autonomous command from a seaward location. Under favour of popularized spill-response vessels, water contamination could materially diminish.
In 2020, almost two hundred pirate attacks on ships were notified. Piracy is still a major issue for shipping yet taken into account whilst autonomous vessels are designed. Fully autonomous ships with no one on board eliminate the probable attacks on the crew. Because the new design does not contain embarking it is rather impossible to board on the vessel with ease. Besides if pirates somehow achieve to approach, in consequence of the vessel being controlled by AI or a nonmarine facility it is impossible to control the craft.
The shipping industry is on the verge of a completely new era where prospectless is invalid and change is essential. Like any other transitional period, it has its challenges and hopes. However, nearly all the experts rely on the favourable benefits of autonomy in the shipping industry in the close future.
MASS: Maritime autonomous surface ships
USCG: United States Coast Guard
LASH FIRE: Legislative Assessment for Safety Hazards of Fire and Innovations in Ro-ro ship Environment
MUNIN: Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks
IMO: The International Maritime Organization