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HANSA 10-2020

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Schiffstechnik | Ship

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology »Connectivity and sensor technology as constraints« Japan is known for an innovative and collaborative maritime industry with classification society ClassNK being an integrating player. Exclusively for HANSA, Hiroaki Sakashita , President and CEO, shares his views on technologies for future shipping © ClassNK Hiroaki Sakashita was appointed as President and CEO of ClassNK in spring Prior to your appointment as new President & CEO – after two years working in the association – you have overseen ClassNK’s expansion of its business portfolio and digital transformation. Would it be fair to expect that the classification society will increasingly focus on digital topics in the future? Hiroaki Sakashita: I believe that digitalization has significant potential to resolve various challenges ahead in the maritime sector. In my last position I led the digital strategy of the society, which has been realized as the »ClassNK Digital Grand Design 2030« (DGD2030) and offers our future vision for the digital society of 2030. In line with DGD2030, we aim to support the evolution of the maritime business by coping with the new digital challenges faced by clients and contributing to the further improvement of safety. With the grand design’s concept of »Creating innovation for a blue economy«, we are expanding our knowledge base and aim for the role of sophisticated technology in order to bring greater innovation to the maritime and its related industries. Apart from any »political« discussions and financial aspects, more from a technological point of view: which concrete steps need to be taken next by the shipping industry to move forward in terms of autonomous shipping? Sakashita: Developments of component technologies are almost complete, and we are now in a phase where we are examining how we put these technologies together for use. From this position, we predict that technological implementation will focus on three functions: automated navigation (including automated evasion), automated berthing and un-berthing, and remote operation will proceed; and class services will be imperative in implementing these technologies. These are the areas where we will focus on establishing evaluation methods and tools covering safety and work on the continuous clarification of the criteria. What are the most important constraints in this respect from your point of view? Sakashita: I may point out connectivity and sensor technology as constraints for autonomous shipping. For the remote operation of ships, the instability of connectivity and finding the appropriate way to measure the connectivity stability are fundamental hurdles. Speaking of sensor technology, it is difficult to technically define the »watch-keeping equivalent to human«. At this moment, there are no clear answers as to what, how much, and in what way sensors can be said to have recognized the surrounding situation correctly. Do you expect any kind of stronger integration of tools like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in daily shipping operations? Sakashita: From the aspect of crewless or with less-crew navigation, there needs to be some kind of visual access from the shore to the ship, and AR/VR technology could be utilized for those needs. These technologies can also be enlightening in the field of ship surveys and the training of surveyors. AR technology may enable surveyors onboard to refer to past survey records or advise on cautionary points in an organized manner and will be a supportive technology for surveys. Do you think that the use of composite materials is something that makes sens in shipbuilding? Sakashita: Composites are valid materials for ships. They can be competitive in terms of strength and light weight, thus minimizing the power necessary for propulsion. However, to be realistic, steel will remain as an important material, considering its strength and easy processing. Areas for further consideration include collision resistance, corrosion resistance and highly tensile materials. Interview: Michael Meyer © ABS »Focus should be on advanced engineering tools« What will it take for the shipping industry to safely adopt sustainable and autonomous shipping? The answer we often hear is the need for regulation, but the conversation should really focus on advanced engineering tools. Modelling and simulation are the foundations of complex software-driven or autonomous systems. The same technology can be used to measure a ship’s contribution to carbon emissions and understand what is needed for mitigation, making it a key technology to drive the industry’s digital transformation. Patrick Ryan, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology, ABS SPEAKERS’ CORNER Read the complete commentary of Patrick Ryan in our »Speakers’ Corner« on 28 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 10 | 2020

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology HANSA – International Maritime Journal 10 | 2020 29

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