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.