Blog Editor’s Note: Several outlets have reported on Denmark’s recent report about the need to bring some structure to how autonomous ships will be regarded and operated.

We heartily agree, and resilient navigation needs to be at the top of the list! Relying solely on signals that can be easily spoofed or jammed is a recipe for disaster. 

Here is the article from “Maritime Executive”:

Image Courtesy Rolls Royce

Denmark Calls for IMO Rules for Autonomous Ships

By MarEx 2017-12-11 14:07:50

On Monday, the Danish Maritime Authority published a report recommending changes to IMO regulations in order to facilitate the development of autonomous ships. In particular, the report examines regulations on manning, the definition of a vessel’s “master” and the possibility of a “periodically unmanned bridge and electronic lookout.”

“The development of autonomous ships is fast-moving and we must be at its forefront. However, part of current regulation is based on traditions dating back to the age of sail. That needs to improve,” said minister for industry, business and financial affairs Brian Mikkelsen. “The regulation of autonomous ships shouldn’t be a hindrance to further advances and, therefore, the report published today provides important input.”

Mikkelson said that Denmark is already working hard to stay in the lead on shipping technology, and is “pushing this [autonomous] agenda.” For further progress, he suggested that regulations for autonomous vessels should be standardized internationally.

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