Marine autonomy research has focused on algorithmic and technical developments, targeting autonomous craft in restricted areas where international rules and regulations are not prioritised. This paper addresses the system engineering aspect of a highly complex system in which the seamless, predictable, and secure interoperability of vendorspecific hardware and software subsystems is a fundamental requirement for designing and implementing cyber-physical systems with artificial intelligence to assist or replace the navigating officer, such as autonomous marine surface vehicles. It addresses international rules in the sector and exhibits a system architecture that can fulfil the criteria for safe behaviour in foreseen occurrences and the capacity to request human aid if the autonomous system cannot manage a problem. The system thinking and engineering provided in this article have been applied to The GreenHopper, a harbour bus currently under construction and intended to undergo certification and enter commercial service.
Autonomous marine surface vehicles rely on computer systems with computer intelligence making decisions to assist or replace the navigating officer. A fundamental requirement for the design and implementation of such a cyber-physical system is seamless, predictable, and secure interoperability between vendor-specific hardware and software subsystems. The article describes a system design that includes mechanisms to mitigate the risks and consequences of software defects, individual component malfunction, and harmful cyber interference. It addresses international regulations in the field and demonstrates a system design that can meet the requirements for safe behaviour in foreseeable events while also having the ability to call for human assistance if the autonomous system is unable to handle a situation. The paper presents a design for highly automated vessels with several inherent risk-reducing features, including the ability to isolate and encapsulate abnormal behaviours, built-in features to support resilience to unexpected events, and mechanisms for internal defence against cyber-attacks. The article shows how this is provided by a novel middleware that supports risk mitigation, dependability, and resilience.
In this webinar, Adrienne Mannov from Aarhus University and Peter Aske Svendsen from NFA presented their research on autonomous shipping as this relates to seafaring and technology, based on their 2019 report, “Transport 2040: Autonomous ships: A new paradigm for Norwegian shipping - Technology and transformation”.
The event was organized in collaboration with MARLOG
Unmanned and autonomous cargo ships may transform the maritime industry,
but there are issues regarding reliability of machinery which must frst be solved.
This paper examines the efect of voyage length on the reliability of machinery
with redundancy on unmanned ships. The limiting efects of dependent failures on
the improvement of reliability through the use of redundancy is also explored. A
strong relationship between voyage length and probability of independent failures
in systems with redundancy is shown. Increased redundancy can easily counteract
this negative efect of long unmanned voyages on reliability. Dependent failures,
however, are not afected by increased redundancy. The contribution of dependent
failures on the total probability of failure is found to easily exceed the contribution
from independent failures if even a slight proportion of the failures is dependent.
This has serious implications for unmanned ships where the possibility of corrective
maintenance is very limited and the consequences of mechanical failures on, e.g. the
propulsion of the ships can therefore be expected to be more severe than on conventionally manned ships. Redundancy in itself may not be enough to provide the reliability of machinery systems required for unmanned operation and other solutions
must therefore be found.
This PhD theis focuses on identifying the opportunities and challenges that on-board maintenance and practical operation of vessels poses in the development of autonomous ships. Inspired by the rapid development of autonomous vehicles considerable effort and interest is now invested in the development of autonomous ships. So far however, most of the research has focused on the legal aspect of unmanned vessels and on developing a system enabling a vessel to operate within the maritime collision regulation without human interaction. Specifically, the theisi looks into three research questions: (1) How is autonomous technology going to affect the workload required for operating and maintaining modern cargo vessels? (2) How is autonomous technology going to affect the operational patterns of the vessels? And (3) How is autonomous technology going to affect the reliability and utilization rate of the vessels?
The study is planned in cooperation between Svendborg International Maritime Academy (SIMAC) and University of Southern Denmark.
The report is organized as follows. The introduction will lay out the current state-of-play of eco-efficiency and the zeitgeist of the current situation on maritime that we find ourselves in, in 2020. The next section will provide some historical context looking back to 2010 and 2000 to trace the trajectory and developmental course on which we are. The core contribution of this report is the Maritime Operations Roadmap that can be found in Figure 1 on page 9. This illustration plots the expectations for technological capabilities and policy from 2020 to 2030.