Classification society ClassNK and Sompo Japan Insurance are jointly investigating autonomous ship risk assessments
ClassNK expects autonomous operations to help improve onboard and navigational safety by preventing human errors during ship manoeuvres and enhancing onboard working conditions by reducing seafarers’ workloads.
“With the implementation of demonstration projects and development of guidelines led by the Japanese Government, the framework for safety evaluation is in progress in Japan,” said ClassNK. It conducts research and development for safety evaluation and standards for autonomous operation technology in its role as a verification body.
ClassNK is involved in efforts by the Japanese Government, research institutes and corporations related to trialling autonomous technology, providing advice on safety and technology.
Sompo Japan is joining ClassNK in jointly assessing the risks of autonomous ships. Guidelines on autonomous shipping mention risk assessment as one of the points to consider to ensure the safety of the vessel and surrounding manned ships.
The joint industry project (JIP) combines ClassNK’s knowledge of shipping and Sompo Japan’s knowledge of risks associated with ship operation and management, based on underwriting ship insurance. It will also use Sompo Japan’s knowledge of risk assessments for the practical application of autonomous vehicles. The research began in February 2021 and the results are expected in 2022.
ClassNK said it would “reinforce its knowledge of risk assessment as a classification society and strive to contribute to the social implementation of autonomous ships” through various partnerships.
Organisations worldwide are investing in autonomous vessels and technology for a growing number of maritime applications, including research, survey and coastal operations.
IMO is also implementing research into which regulatory tools require adjustment to enable autonomous surface ships to be tested commercially.
In Japan, NYK and Japan Marine Science collaborated on two research projects with Japanese Government backing to trial remote navigation and collision avoidance on vessels including a tug in Tokyo Bay.
Riviera Maritime Media will provide free technical and operational webinars in 2021. Sign up to attend on our events page