SPECIAL: DANISH MARITIME FAIR 2018
ELECTRIC. DIGITAL. CONNECTED
With faster than ever technology development, consumers who are able and willing to adopt new technologies that make their own lives easier, changing business models such as car sharing, may upend our future assumptions of shipping. Urbanization and megatrends in global economics will change shipping routes and the way we ship cargo. Historically, the shipping business has taken for granted that the volume of seaborne cargo transportation is a direct correlation of Global GDP.
BB believes that shipping is likely to develop in incremental steps towards increasingly higher levels of automation and autonomy. As is the case with autonomous cars, technology development and adoption needs to evolve in order to achieve the required levels of trust, maturity and confidence in safety in order to proceed to the next level. Each of these steps must provide added value to ship operators and charters in the form of improved operational efficiency or an increased level or safety, or indeed, both. The discussion around autonomous ships around navigation has been intense. We consider that most of these discussions actually neglect the fact that the power and drive trains of the ships also needs to evolve to accommodate the needs of an increasingly automated shipping business. Ships need to be able to sustain fault scenarios and self-heal. Therefore, the more electric the power
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train is, the easier it is to increase redundancy and improve availability. Electric systems can also be easily diagnosed and reconfigured in a secure manner remotely. SMALLER SHIPS FIRST We also shouldn’t expect the sudden withdrawal of ship crews. Crews don’t just drive the ship, they tend to the ship’s needs such as maintenance of propulsion and auxiliary machinery, plan cargo operations for the next port and maintain radio watches for colleagues in distress at sea. Electric power and propulsion reduce the amount of moving parts reducing the need for maintenance. It is likely that one of the first ship types where automation and autonomy are significantly increased are ships that operate short distances close to shore on a repeating route and are relatively small in size. They may have regular access to the shore
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side power making it possible to utilize energy storage, batteries, on board the ship as power source and they have fully electric propulsion system. As this type of ship gets more electric and they require less continuous maintenance such as lubrication or filter changes, it can also be supported remotely or by ad- hoc visits by a service crew. Ocean going vessels are likely to benefit from this advancing technology, but we consider this to be in the context of assistant systems in the near and mid term. Officers of the Watch and their Bridge Teams already tend to be bystanders to computer track pilots that follow a pre-programmed voyage plan from way point to way point across the oceans. However, they do have a critical duty to maintain safety and respond in case of deviation from the plan. Other duties are based on business needs such
An ocean of possibilities: Welcome to the Danish Maritime Fair 2018. This year’s Danish Maritime Days will be the fourth edition, and even t...