In the field of ships, research and development of technology related to maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) has been actively carried out with the aim of improving safety by preventing human error and improving working conditions, through reducing the work load on crew members and carrying out demonstration experiments on a global scale.
It is expected that the design and development of technology related to MASS will be performed in various forms and concepts. The direction of the developments can be roughly divided into the following two ways: design and development aiming to lessen the number of crew members onboard unmanned ships or comparatively small ships with limited short navigation routes, and design and development for partial automation of onboard tasks or remote support, mainly with the purpose of supporting the onboard operation of crew members.
Considering the current situation in which design and developments of technology related to MASS are expected to be carried out, based on various concepts, ClassNK issued it’s provisional version of ‘Guidelines for Automated/Autonomous Operation of ships’ in 2018.
Meanwhile, the safety of the technology related MASS is to be confirmed in not only the design and development stage, but also in the onboard installation stage. Methods and procedures for maintenance and management during operation must be clarified as well. Based on this concept, the Society has included the contents of the previously published provisional guidelines and newly compiled the requirements in each stage of design and development, installation and maintenance management during the operation of technology related to MASS as ‘Guidelines for Automated/Autonomous Operation on ships’. These guidelines will be reviewed as necessary in accordance with the progress of related technology development.