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CHAPTER 10 Who is the master now?: Regulatory and contractual challenges of unmanned vessels

New Technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Shipping law in the 21st Century

Page 129 CHAPTER 10 Who is the master now?: Regulatory and contractual challenges of unmanned vessels Who is the master now?: Regulatory and contractual challenges of unmanned vessels Professor Simon Baughen 1 1 Introduction Unmanned ships are coming, and coming soon. Kongsberg’s Yara Birkeland will be the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship. It will be equipped with various proximity sensors, radar, lidar, 2 AIS, 3 camera, infra red camera and its connectivity and communication will be through maritime broadband radio, satellite communications and GSM. 4 Loading and discharging will be done automatically using electric cranes and equipment. Berthing and unberthing will be done without human intervention, through an automatic mooring system. The ship will sail within 12 nautical miles from the coast, between three ports in southern Norway. There will be three centres to handle emergency and exception handling, condition monitoring, operational monitoring, decision support, surveillance of the autonomous ship and its surroundings and all other aspects of safety. The planned time frame is for testing with a captain and small crew, placed in a container-based bridge, to start in the second half of 2018, delivery from the yard and testing of autonomous capability in 2019, with fully autonomous operation starting in 2020.

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