Autonomous shipping new regulations

  • May 17, 2021

MARLab project delivered its final report on the regulatory impediments on autonomous ship in British seas experimental travel . This report was prepared from MARLab’s and Maritime Future Technologies team. Analysts prediction is for autonomous ships to enter in a new age of technological innovation in the maritime sector before decade ends. Autonomous ship industry valued to $5.8 billion in 2020 is predicted to increase to $14.2 billion by 2030, with an annual growth rate of 9.3 percent. This expansion might be hampered in the United Kingdom by a lack of government awareness and regulation, since law has typically been constructed with the idea that seafarers will always be critical to ship operation.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) created the Maritime Autonomy Regulation Lab (MARLab) in 2018 to serve as a contact point between the Government, academia, and the shipping sector, which is seeking assistance on how to test and operate autonomous surface ships (MASS). These initiative got £1 million to create new rules suitable for MASS and smart shipping, as well as to research new industrial technologies. MARLab was divided into two sections from November 2018 to September 2020. Some project stakeholders focused on examining critical regulations that may be a barrier to MASS testing, while others gathered information on how the government can promote the industry’s innovation.

The MARLab project is still far from done. MCA has recently formed the Maritime Future Technologies (MFT) team, which will take the place of MARLab as the interface between the MCA, academia, and industry. The MFT will be responsible for facilitating the execution of MASS experiments and initiatives, as well as supporting regulatory to increase autonomy. The MCA will also look at other areas and compare their approaches to the regulation of autonomous machines, concentrating on how they might boost productivity and cut costs and also working with the University of Southampton to compare civil aviation’s approach to automation and draw lessons that might assist shipping move forward with unmanned vessel regulation.

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