Photo: Danish Maritime Authority

Denmark Zooms in on Developments in Autonomous Shipping

By Aiswarya Lakshmi!!!

A conference on autonomous ships hosted by the Danish Maritime Authority zooms in on the potential for using new technology on board ships.

Before long, the Danish Maritime Authority can take the next step in its efforts to create a sound and safe framework for utilising new technology in shipping.
At the international conference "Zooming in on autonomous ships", which was held today, and which had been arranged by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) in cooperation with Danish Shipping and Danish Maritime, the consultancy company Rambøll and the law firm CORE unveiled a few of the conclusions from a new report. And they included a number of specific proposals for areas where the Danish Maritime Authority could advantageously introduce new regulations to promote digitalisation within the shipping industry.
Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Brian Mikkelsen is ready to support this. He said: "The Government is of the view that it is quite decisive that Denmark is a frontrunner as regards digitalisation, and the shipping industry contains a huge potential for digitalisation. As Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, I will ensure that the regulation supports this so that the industry can utilise the potential for growth without running into any unnecessary barriers."
The Rambøll/CORE report, which is expected to be published on 1 December 2017, will list a number of areas where new rules have to be developed in order to make it possible for companies and shipowners to put the new technology into daily use.
Some of the specific areas from the report that were presented at today's conference concerned the application on autonomous ships of the regulations for preventing collisions at sea and the competences to be held by the crew in order to, inter alia, remotely control the ship from ashore.
As regards the new technology, there are several degrees of autonomous ships - from automatic steering of the ship with crewmembers on board to full automation without anybody on board. Especially in connection with full automation, the rules will be challenged and must be drawn up in a new way ensuring a continuously high level of safety.
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