Safety of Unmanned Ships: Safe Shipping with Autonomous and Remote Controlled Ships

Risto Jalonen, Risto Tuominen, Mikael Wahlström

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    The main objective of this study has been to identify and initially assess relevant safety and security risks with operation of a general ship under remote or autonomous control, or some selected vessel types chosen for concept level consideration. A focal research question is whether the balance between manned ships can be changed towards the directions of automation and/or teleoperation. This study is focused on generic ships based on a selection of some ship types. The ship types chosen include different ship types: cargo ships, passenger ships and service vessels. They may all have some potential for the development towards future technology demonstration trials and applications. However, it is possible that none or some of these ship types, or some other ship types now left out of the scope, may be the most promising ones for the first applications. Economical comparisons are needed to find out the feasibility of each ship type for being the most promising, suggested platform of this new technology, but such studies fall out of the scope of this study. The research has been based on a review of research literature related to autonomous or remotely operated vessel concepts, and discussions between the authors regarding the implications of the application of the new technology in selected ship types. The discussions have been supported by the preliminary risk assessment per-formed by the authors exploring the potential safety implications of increased autonomy on some ship types considered as being conceivable candidates for proof-of-concept demonstrations. Finally, the report provides some high-level recommendations for an early phase of the progress and development of autonomous ships.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherAalto University
    Number of pages98
    ISBN (Electronic)978-952-60-7480-1
    ISBN (Print)978-952-60-7481-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesAalto University Publication Series Science + Technology


    • autonomous shipping
    • safety
    • security
    • risk


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