Identification of safety risks in system integration in automated port terminals

Risto Tiusanen, Eetu Heikkilä

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference AbstractScientific


Automation development towards autonomous operations is a mega trend in port terminals and container logistics. In the long term visions this results in a complex and dynamic mixed-traffic operating environment in port terminals, where manual and autonomous machines, as well as humans, may work simultaneously in the same area. Automated operations in port terminals require integration in many levels linking together various operating and maintenance procedures, IT systems, safety systems etc. to enable all of them to work optimally, safely and reliably together. The shift from manual machine operations toward automated logistic processes takes safety considerations to a system safety level. Traditional machinery safety issues are becoming system-safety and reliability issues like new automation-related threats and possible unexpected hazardous events caused by wrong information. New safety threats are seen in complex human–machine interactions and system integration, unexpected changes in operations and maintenance situations, systematic or random failures in control systems, and interfaces within the operation environment at the work site.System integration is the process of linking different operating procedures and connecting sub-systems into a single larger sosio-technical system that functions as one. An essential part of it in this context is the integration to the terminal operating system and other external information systems. Analysis of safety risks related to system integration is a new challenge for risk identification and risk management. The use of traditional safety analysis methods, which focus on analyzing linear chains of events or technical failures in a single system are not considered sufficient for autonomy related issues and system integration aspects. There is need for new approaches and methods to identify dynamic and indirect effects on safety. VTT, together with a group of Finnish companies, is conducting study on new systemic approaches and qualitative methods for the identification of uncertainties and risks related to machine autonomy and system integration. The work is done in a research project AUTOPORT ( mainly funded by Business Finland as part of the Smart Mobility Program. The study has a constructive approach including methodology development and case studies. The methodology under study will be developed by combining STAMP approach, STPA method and modified OHA and HAZOP methods. This new approach and will be implemented and evaluated in realistic case studies defined with the companies. The preliminary results and experiences of the study will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventSRA-Europe Conference 2021, SRAE 2021: Online - Virtual, Espoo, Finland
Duration: 14 Jun 202116 Jun 2021


ConferenceSRA-Europe Conference 2021, SRAE 2021
OtherThe Society for Risk Analysis – European Conference 2021
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