Implementation of autonomous, i.e. automatically and remotely controlled vessels, is in the spotlight of the maritime industry and the International Maritime Organization. Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (or MASS) shall make navigation much safer, while directly reducing ship operation costs for shipping companies. In general, this will be a new technological revolution in maritime transport, which can change the industry model itself.
We made a very important step: based on the world’s largest trail project in real conditions, we opened opportunities for every shipping company to try and to implement autonomous navigation solutions – to facilitate the technology development in this area, to bring them to the consumer’s hands.
The key economic effect from the introduction of MASS is undoubtedly formed by increasing the safety of navigation. The human factor, despite the widespread use of navigation automation technologies, remains the main cause of incidents at sea. According to various researchers, at least 80% of incidents in maritime transport occur due to human factors, and it is practically the only factor in collisions, grounding and incidents on board.
Profession of seafarer is still one of the most dangerous for life. They work in hard conditions, which are even more difficult due to the COVID pandemic restrictions. That’s why, all over the world there is a steady decline of interest to marine professions, decrease in the number of those who go to work in this industry – and this additionally exert pressure on shipping companies in terms of availability of qualified personnel.
At the same time, the direct costs of shipping companies for the crew on board, including ensuring its life and safety, needs on board, are estimated as average 30-40% of ship operation costs. And, considering the current structure of ship operation costs, this is almost the only source of economic efficiency available to shipping companies.
Therefore, the industry expectations from the new technology are very high: this is probably the only case in many years when shipowners will not have to pay an increase in costs for safety improvements, but, on the contrary, will be able to reduce their operating costs.
We are ready to share our technical knowledge as well as our practical experience to make the way of implementation of a-Navigation smother and safer. We believe that autonomous shipping shall be the point for international cooperation and call to join efforts in this area.