Moving towards autonomous vessels.

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In honour of one of the most discussed topics of LISW we bring you a thought piece on the move towards autonomous vessels.

The move to autonomous vessels in one way or another is no longer an option but an imminent event. It is now up to us to ensure that we make this transition into the digital revolution as smooth as possible. There is a lot to ponder and analyse and there is more unknown ahead of us than we’ve seen in many years. 

As humans, we tend to be adverse to change, it’s in our nature to worry and seek comfort in what we know. But that time is over… we are to be catapulted out of our comfort zones at an alarming rate and we must keep up.

As Oskar Levander of Rolls Royce said at a recent lecture “Change is Disruptive”. It is unlikely that most ship owners will dive head first into unchartered territories but instead will wait for others to test the waters. We’re moving into a new age with little historical records and will therefore have to anticipate what could happen rather than rely on past facts. There is a lot of trust being put into those behind the impending new vessels and the regulations and laws that will follow. 

While this can be an un-nerving time it is also very exciting and if nothing else a great story in years to come – who else can say they were there at the forefront of digital shipping? The Grandkids will be highly impressed. 

Historically shipping is a reactive business, an event will happen and a new law, regulation or rule will be put in place. We just have to think of such cases as the Exxon Valdez to see this. However, we need to take the bull by the horns and adopt a more proactive approach to this technical age. We need to discuss, debate and analyse, creating a streamlined approach across the board. 

t’s time to wave farewell to the industry as we know it and welcome a new era of shipping, dominated by technology. 

What are your predictions for the future of shipping? Tweet us at @UKPANDI.

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