vor 1 Jahr

HANSA 10-2020

  • Text
  • Hansaplus
  • Hansa
  • Maritime
  • Shipping
  • Hamburg
  • Marine
  • Schiffstechnik
  • Container
  • Engines
  • Ships
  • Vessels
Schiffstechnologie der Zukunft | Leichtbau | Review Compit 2020 | HANSA Engine Survey 2020 | Ihatec-Bilanz | LNG-Umbau Münsterland | Mega-Yachten & Werften | Havarie Peter Pan | Fährschifffahrt

Schiffstechnik | Ship

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology How much machine do we want? While the IMO is looking into a future with autonomous ships, experts look at the current challenges for the technology needed to enable it. How much machine in the loop do we want, how much does today’s technology allow for and is there a demand for it? Autonomy is a word that we should be very careful with,« Eero Lehtovaara, Head of Regulatory Affairs, ABB Marine & Ports said a recent webinar titled »The year of decision for the autonomous ship«, referring to the International Maritime Organisation currently looking at how today’s regulations are affected by autonomous ships. Lehtovaara noted that, for a fairly long time, machines have already been »in the mix«. Now it was time to look at the human in the loop. »An average ship already, by international regulations, has a large number of functions digitalized. Most of the detection and identification work is already being done by machines. One of the key questions going forward is how and by whom the analysis is done,« he said. In his view, the key questions are: who gets to make the decision, in what context and in what situation. One of the key elements is to see if we would be confident to let the machine take more space than it already does. »Even if we are mainly talking about navigation, we already have given them a lot of space on the bridge and in the engine room. We already have conditionally and temporary unattended machinery spaces. I don’t see why this could not happen on the bridge also – within certain conditions of course,« Lehtovaara said. While most experts in the ship autonomy field would claim that most part of the technology is already there, Lehtovaara sees a need to figure out the »social license« to operate more autonomously, meaning the regulatory side and how much autonomy we want to allow. This last aspect is not only up to regulators, shipping operators or the society, as Marco Camporeale, Head of Maritime Digital at satellite communication company Inmarsat, pointed out. He is looking at the issue from the perspective of communication connectivity. The industry has already defined different degrees of autonomy on the path to a fully autonomous ship: Degree 1 describes a ship with automated processes and decision support, »that is where we are today,« Camporeale said. Degree 2 means remotely controlled ships with seafarers on board. Here, the availability of connectivity worldwide is crucial, the expert says. »Elements like latency and capacity may not be as important as with seafarers on board. But when we get close to shore or port, in an area where we are crossing routes with other ships, then seafarers can take over in case of emergency.« These seafarers then will have more time to other things than just following up the operation and the connectivity that the seafarers will require themselves (crew welfare) will have to be considered as well. Camporeale sees a need for dedicated bandwidth for certain applications to create »segregated pipelines« to make sure that certain vital systems get the connectivity they require and do not fight with other systems. Skipping remote operation? In autonomy degree 3 we are talking remotely controlled ships without seafarers on board. »A loss of connectivity is not acceptable, because there is nobody to take over. In this case, latency and capacity become a challenge. We assume that, especially wen we get close to shore or to port or special waters, we need real time control of the ship. We need several tens of Mbps depending on the amount of processing required,« Camporeale explained. One example would be live streaming from multiple cameras to shore with very little latency. The technology available today, especially for solving the capacity problem, is developed, the Inmarsat expert said and added: »We can handle a cruise ship with hundreds or thousands of passengers streaming videos. But is that actually scalable to merchant shipping on a 44 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 10 | 2020

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology large scale? What about the challenge of latency that is inherent to the satellite telecommunication system? Is this degree of remote control actually something that we should try to skip or at least leave it to where an autonomous ship comes close to shore?« Degree 4 describes a fully autonomous ship. The amount of connectivity required is more or less like in degree 2, because instead of having people on board there is an autonomous navigation system in control. »Again, connectivity is a must, but latency especially at sea may not have the same requirements as degree 3 autonomy. We need a limited level of connectivity, because in case of emergency the autonomous system takes control of the vessel and puts it into a safe condition. The remote connectivity required is only needed for special commands, which does not have the same high connectivity demands as a full-fledged remote control system«, Marco Camporeale explained. »The fully autonomous system might be very similar to what we have today in other industries: when the ship gets close to port, the autonomous system hands over to a remote control station where we can rely on the higher capacity and lower latency of the LTE wireless system.« »No key drivers to take people off ships« There is still a large number of unanswered questions, ABB’s Eero Lethovaara said. »We need to do this gradually, I don’t think it is possible to jump from the stone age directly to the moon. There are a number of things that we need to do in between.« The same technology used on a gas carrier or passenger ship to maximise situational awareness could be used on a smaller road ferry to make it fully autonomous – depending on routes, conditions and operating environment. »I do think that in most cases for a very long time going forward we will have the human in the loop. I personally do not see the key drivers to take people off the ships,« Lehtovaara put it. However, he expects that technologies will come on board and change how work on board ships looks like. A change in work patterns could enable crews to work office hours, »changing how people perceive being on board and being able to live somewhat more within the social norms that we usually live in«. Besides testing and maturing of the necessary technology, there is one very important point that has not been touched upon, yet: »For us as a technology provider, one of the key aspects is how the market will develop, what the market will say?,« Lehtovaara asked. »We need to see that the customers actually want to have the technology.« The current Covid-19 pandemic might have an impact on the speed of digitalization and automation. The ABB expert does not want to make a prediction but says we might see a change in the expected development curve. Meanwhile, Marco Camporeale reported that Inmarsat has seen the »demand for connectivity exploding, demand for platforms to extract vessel data to enable thinks like remote survey and remote support from shore«, during the crisis. Inmarsat »definitely believes« that the development has been pushed at a higher speed. Additionally, crew welfare has become more important during the crisis, as many crews were stuck on vessels while crew changes were not possible. fs 2-in-1 solution STRONG PROTECTION ON THE HIGH SEAS Arma-Chek ® Juna IMO-certified insulation system for shipbuilding. Original closed-cell ArmaFlex ® with an extremely tough flexible covering. For combustible and noncombustible installations. HANSA – International Maritime Journal 10 | 2020 45

HANSA Magazine

HANSA Magazine

Hansa News Headlines