What is the impact of smart shipping?
One sensitive result of highly automised vessels will be the reduction of personnel. However experts doubt if the human factor can totally be left out of the equation, it is likely for crew sizes to shrink to an absolute minimum. As a consequence, less facilities will be needed, to leave more space for goods to be transported. A second result will be increased safety. Around 70 to 80 percent of marine accidents at sea are a result of human error and with new smart vessels this is likely to be minimised. A final high impact point will be efficiency in traffic. Johan de Jong from Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) says that the capacity of waterways can be increased because of autonomous ships. “You can adjust the traffic and avoid that ships sail in each other’s territory or have to wait for each other at locks. This increases the traffic flow.”
Current projects in the industry
The impact of smart shipping is huge in the maritime world. It’s a hot topic in the industry and lots of companies are setting up projects to remain in-sync with this development. A few remarkable projects are described below.
Rolls-Royce introduced a project in June 2016: AAWA (Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications). They are working on an unmanned cargo ship which will be driven from the shore. Their goal is to let this ship sail in 2020. For this project Rolls-Royce works with several maritime companies, such as Deltamarin, DNV GL, Brighthouse NAPA and Inmarsat. At this moment the company is testing the sensors and the light detection and ranging under variable weather conditions on a ferry in Finland.
Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara and maritime technology firm Kongsberg Gruppe are working on a project to build the world’s first autonomous ship: Yara Birkeland. In 2018 the vessel will be tested with a captain and a small crew and the goal is to have the ship fully autonomous in 2020.
How can Lagersmit contribute to the development of smart ships?
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