seatec - Finnish marine technology review 2/2016 - Page 45

“ Automation technology could be installed on various types of vessels. Mr. Oskar Levander, Vice President of Innovation from Rolls-Royce, notes that Possibly the first unmanned test vessels the company also takes part in many coop- could be small in size. They might also be erative R & D projects with specific ship- operated in limited areas, perhaps close owners in this field. to the coastline. ”In the currently ongoing second ”In any case, limited operations will phase of the AAWA project, automa- be necessary until international IMO regu- tion technologies for remote controlled lations related to unmanned ships can be and autonomous ships are being consid- agreed upon,” Levander ponders. ered,” he says. ”In the long term, unmanned opera- ”Eventually the 3rd phase of AAWA tion of ships may improve maritime safety. will include proof-of-concept studies. Even automated ships could perhaps However, we are still looking for more have a limited crew aboard for emergen- financing before we can take the project cies, particularly when ships are carrying to that final stage.” hazardous cargo such as oil or flamma- More tangible concepts and perhaps Mr. Levander expects that automa- actual hardware for automated ships are tion technology could be installed on var- now on the agenda. SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS ious types of vessels. ”There is no real reason why there PROOF-OF-CONCEPT STUDIES could not be remote-controlled or com- The Rolls-Royce Blue Ocean team, respon- ble gas.” Also, approach to ports would probably need to be pilot-guided, even for drone ships. The pilot would not necessarily have to physically be on board. pletely unmanned cargo ships, tugs, ”In the event of a serious technical sible for research and development of coastal ships, or car ferries,” he explains. fault in remote-control systems, unmanned future maritime technologies, has devel- ”Shipowners have already shown vessels will need to be programmed to pro- oped a range of autonomous ship con- keen interest in remote controlled and ceed to a specific location if no control cepts as well as innovative designs for var- autonomous ship technologies. They want signal is being received,” suggests Levan- ious ship types. to become forerunners.” der.  n seatec 2/2016 43