Conference Program

Perspectives on the deployment of MASS

Market insights into autonomous maritime systems: an industry survey

Hans-Christoph Burmeister
Head of department
Fraunhofer CML
Based on an industrial survey among executives or senior managers of 52 companies, the following insights into the currently evolving market of autonomous maritime systems (AMS) are given: the current status of the AMS market; the active players and driving subsegments in the AMS domain; how European industrial players perceive the market. Most responses come from shipping, supplier and port segments covering active and passive companies with regard to AMS. The results are a synopsis of a recent market study commissioned by the German Maritime Centre.

Pro-innovation approaches for testing and assuring MASS

Andre Burgess
Assured autonomy program lead
National Physical Laboratory
With an international non-mandatory goal-based MASS code due in 2025, the relevant technical enablers must be in place to deliver the adoption of MASS at the scale where the full benefits can be derived. The UK Maritime Autonomy Assurance Testbed (MAAT) program follows a data-driven and evidence-based approach to help develop the technical capabilities and pro-innovation standards to enable the deployment of maritime autonomous technologies globally. This talk will share the latest research activities being conducted with international partners, including data standards and metrics for situational awareness, and a common test scenario definition language and taxonomy/definition for operating conditions and system behaviors.

MASS and the emergence of maritime intelligent transportation systems

Ørnulf Jan Rødseth
General manager
Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships
Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are most used in relation to road traffic. ITS include concepts like traffic monitoring and control, connected, cooperative and automated mobility (CCAM), and advanced automated and autonomous cars. Many of these concepts are already available in ships, and autonomous shipping is rapidly developing into real business models. This presentation will go through the different ITS concepts and show how the maritime sector is in many ways ahead of the road sector. It will also discuss why we need a stronger integration between road and maritime ITS and how this can be achieved.

Highly automated and remote-controlled vessels from an integrator's perspective

Ronny Tomren
Vice president remote and digital
Vard Electro
Highly automated and remote-controlled vessels have been making news in academia and research, but almost unnoticed made it into commercial application. This resonates in every single aspect of building a ship, from design to delivery. Remote control constitutes a step-change in complexity over mere remote monitoring as it puts up a new set of requirements regarding availability, resilience, safety and security for virtually every system on board. This redefines shipbuilders towards a active role taking ownership of the technological, regulatory and commercial roadmap alongside its customer. This presentation will share insights from projects on how this could work.

Embracing and navigating the challenges and opportunities in Shipping 4.0

Ivar de Josselin de Jong
Director strategy and commercial
The speech will focus on the challenges and opportunities the shipping and maritime industry is facing in embracing the complexities around further maturation of the maritime remote and autonomous ecosystem in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution. Challenges like safety, capability, reliability, compliance and risk control are discussed against opportunities in digitalization, AI and machine learning but also in future workforce diversity and the welfare/work-life balance of maritime personnel. By exploring these challenges and opportunities, the speech aims to provide insights into how the maritime industry can successfully navigate the complexities of implementing autonomous shipping.

Roadmap toward unmanned surface vehicle (USV) deployment in Malaysia

Farawahida M Monil
Principal, geohazards
This presentation will explore an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) deployment in Malaysia, specifically for geophysical survey operations and led by Geomatics specialists. The Geomatics team delved into USV technology to enhance traditional survey vessel operations. This session will highlight achievements to date and outline the trajectory for USV advancements in Malaysia.

Scaling up maritime autonomy: LUSV vision and key design considerations

Chloe Yarrien
Maritime autonomous systems engineering lead
The sustainability, efficiency and safety benefits of maritime autonomy are being realized at an ever-increasing pace at the workboat end of the market. Small (<24m) USVs have experienced the highest rates of development and proliferation due to their relatively inexpensive nature and aptitude for completing dull, dirty and dangerous tasks, but there are drawbacks. Scaling up vessels opens the door to a broader selection of uses and brings further benefits. This presentation discusses key design considerations and benefits of a large USV as well as key challenges and areas of development required to achieve the vision.

MEGURI2040 Stage 2: toward the social implementation of fully autonomous ships

Masanori Muto
Group leader/senior researcher
Mitsubishi Research Institute
The MEGURI2040 Fully Autonomous Ship Project administrated by the Nippon Foundation has moved to the second stage, targeting the commercialization of fully autonomous ships by 2025. Under MEGURI2040 Stage 2, the consortium of over 50 companies (DFFAS+) in Japan will demonstrate the fully autonomous navigation system equivalent to AL4 but also work on other activities necessary for social implementation, including standardization of technologies and ensuring social (and economic) acceptance of MASS. The presentation shows the progress of the project, especially focusing on how the consortium works on use cases, insurance and legal liability issues, and the socioeconomic impact assessment of MASS.

Project reviews and case studies

The operational landscape: a status report from the frontlines

Tom Eystø
Massterly has played an important role in autonomous ship operations since its establishment in 2018. As a joint venture between Wilhelmsen and Kongsberg Maritime, Massterly combines ship management and control room operations using advanced technology to manage the complete value chain for autonomous vessels. This approach involves being part of the design, development and operational services, which ensures safety, efficiency and reliability in maritime logistics, subsea surveys and ROV operations. In this presentation, we will provide an operational status report on Yara Birkeland, Asko and Reach Subsea.

Technology development for autonomous and remotely operated ships

Jong Jin Park
Principal research engineer
Samsung Heavy Industries
This presentation will review the research of remotely operated and autonomous ship technologies being developed to reduce crew workloads. These solutions, such as CBM, E-Logbook and automatic report, have been developed and installed as one of the specifications for the ships Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has ordered and SHI has been developing a remote real-time monitoring and control system with connection between IAS/ICMS and the remote-control system. After intensive validation with simulation-based tests, this system has been verified and tested on actual container ships.

Optimal speed as a basis for fuel-efficient autonomy

Ramon Sieber
Research and development engineer
Autonomy in shipping not only leads to more safety but can also save fuel. In timetable operation, the sailing speed is the significant factor in the ship's fuel consumption. Arriving just in time requires the consideration of multiple factors and is currently dependent on the experience of the captain. This presentation reviews a tool which calculates the optimal speed profile by relying on a multi-criteria algorithm and AI. The calculated optimal speed is applied to a smart-throttle lever to autonomously control the speed of the ship. In beta testing on multiple ships in the field, a fuel reduction of 13% was achieved.

Allowing unmanned ships in inland waters

Patrick Potgraven
Program manager smart shipping
Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
Traditional laws were drafted in an era when unmanned sailing was not foreseen. To make unmanned sailing on inland waters legally possible, these laws must be adapted. In this process, the goal of making unmanned sailing as safe as sailing with a crew on board is the starting point. But when do we consider that a ship is operating safely enough to allow it to sail uncrewed? The Dutch Ministry has set up a rule-based judgment framework for the exemption process.

Autonomous ships on rivers and in harbors in Taiwan

Chia-Jung (Tina) Hsu
Project manager
Ship and Ocean Industries R&D Center (SOIC)
Taiwan has announced the Unmanned Vehicles Technology Innovative Experimentation Act in December 2018, the first of its kind in the world covering autonomous vehicles on land, at sea, and in the air. As a ship and maritime technology R&D institution, SOIC has been developing fully-electric autonomous Sightseeing Ships and a marine debris cleaning boat. The remote-control station is included. The Sightseeing Ships has carried thousands of passengers and auto-sailed hundreds of kilometers. The cleaning boat has passed the fields test phase and are participating in the harbor cleaning missions.

Legal, liability and regulatory issues

The evolving approach to maritime autonomy in the United States: Recent U.S. congressional developments, use cases and investment, and the State of U.S. Coast Guard Policy

Sean Pribyl
Holland & Knight LLP
The U.S. autonomous vessel market continued to develop over the past year. Recent U.S. Congressional interest in emerging maritime technologies supports a view of cautious optimism in the coming year, which may work to allow for increased investment by the commercial market to follow precedent being set by the U.S. government, commercial outer space sector, and offshore energy industry. Investment in the U.S. market continues to take shape as U.S. policy and Congressional authorizations are offering a glimpse of pathways to overcoming limitations under U.S. law related to minimum vessel manning requirements and compliance with navigation laws such as the COLREGs. Testing by academic institutions is also supporting collaboration and safe development of use cases, and government agencies are undertaking directed research into the future of commercial maritime autonomy with reports expected this year. Moreover, labor shortages and emerging opportunities for new decarbonization technologies may present useful justifications, including with remotely controlled operations. The U.S. Coast Guard remains the primary gateway through which industry seeks permission to operate without crew (or reduced crew) and with advance autonomous functionality, and this session will examine the state of Coast Guard law and policy, and what industry can expect in the coming year.

The MASS assurance and regulatory compliance process

Jan van Tiggelen
Discipline leader digital transformation
The presentation will share DNV Advisory's practical experience from MASS projects with a focus on the assurance and regulatory compliance process. Main topics for the presentation: flag state requirements; IMO MSC 1/Circ 1455 requirements; class requirements (DNV CG-0264); the need for third-party verification of concept qualification (CQ) and technology qualification (TQ) of novel technology; the MASS risk assessment requirements; cybersecurity and safety management system requirements; lessons learned from MASS projects.

Preparation for port state control inspection of MASS

Chris Balls
Principal surveyor
Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands
This paper will outline some of the discussions that have taken place at the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (CMoU) Technical Standards Working Group concerning port state inspection of autonomous vessels, in particular the sub-24m type. It will include details about the development of guidance for PSC officers, such as a draft aide-mémoire. The paper will also outline CMoU preparations for PSC activities for visiting autonomous vessels; depending upon the timing of the first such inspection in the Cayman Islands, it may include a description of this and the lessons learned.

AI and its impact on business

Eugene Goryunov
Haynes Boone LLP
Vincent Shier
Haynes Boone
The presentation will discuss the ways that AI can improve and even change the transportation and shipping industries. There are many forms of AI and several have been used for years. For example, automated logistics, delivery routing and route navigation are all powered by AI, whether it be predictive analytics, different calculations or brute-force calculations. This session will explore these models and preview up-and-coming technologies that companies should consider in order to be competitive.

Panel Discussion

Sean Pribyl
Holland & Knight LLP
Jan van Tiggelen
Discipline leader digital transformation
Chris Balls
Principal surveyor
Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands
Cayman Islands
Eugene Goryunov
Haynes Boone LLP
Vincent Shier
Haynes Boone

Data connectivity and cybersecurity

Ship-shore connectivity and remote diagnostics: new BV rule notes

Ilia Maslov
Technical advisor - digital and smart ships
Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore
Connectivity systems on board and remote diagnostics from shore are among the enablers of autonomous and remotely operated shipping. BV M&O will share updates about the new rule notes and corresponding notations SYNC-COM and DATA-CENTRIC published in 2024. Challenges and regulatory solutions will be presented, including results from the S-123 development project with the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and from the data-centric evaluation project.

Error handling at the core: safe autonomy at TideWise

Sylvain Joyeux
Systems fail. Is combining mechatronics and software a recipe for disaster? TideWise's teams strive to avoid failures altogether but we recognize that they are unavoidable. In this talk, we will present the defense-in-depth approach we use in software to detect and handle failures, guaranteeing the safe operations of our USVs.

Advancing autonomous navigation: an AI framework to learn good seamanship

Roberto Galeazzi
Head of center
Technical University of Denmark
In the past decade, we have seen a burgeoning of COLREGs-compliant collision avoidance systems, born from a diverse array of algorithmic innovations. Yet their effectiveness is curtailed, limited to scenarios where specific COLREG rules can be distinctly applied. Contrarily, human navigators, in their quest for unerring safety, often transcend these rules, invoking the art of good seamanship in situations of imminent peril. We propose an AI framework adept at assimilating good seamanship, drawing from the rich, yet underutilized, knowledge reservoirs embedded in maritime academy simulators. This novel approach promises to usher in a new era of autonomous navigation.

COLREG’s compliant marine autonomy software – where are we for real today? And how does it work?

Matthew Ratsey
Managing director
The exact scope and focus of this presentation will be confirmed shortly.

Zero-shot learning for enhanced maritime navigation: a semantic reinforcement approach

Robert Emmitt
Autonomy and data science engineer II
PacMar Technologies
This effort focuses on enhancing deep learning networks by adapting semantic relations and concepts in a knowledge graph to ground emerging categories from perception. The goal is to advance a maritime platform’s capabilities when encountering novelty and enable adaptive behavior in unstructured environments by providing it with a perception-knowledge-based toolset for improved navigational performance. The approach involves knowledge adaptation via reinforcement learning to improve the classification of previously unseen objects using both naval-specific initial knowledge and monocular vision. This is achieved by integrating conventional methods with commonsense knowledge bases. Results demonstrate improvements in traditional classification and novel object detection.

Positioning and situation awareness

Navigation using the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), high-definition maps and positioning

Koki Asari, PhD
General manager
Japan Space Systems, General Incorporated Foundation
The QZSS is a Japanese constellation of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS). A proposal for IEC 61108-8 on QZSS navigation receivers has been made. This is an international standard created in accordance with IMO resolutions. QZSS is scheduled to expand to a seven-satellite system within two years. QZSS is equipped with the Centimeter-Level Augmentation Service (CLAS), which is useful for creating high-definition maps for precise autonomous ship operations including automatic docking. Japan is developing a new concept that considers very accurate geodetic positioning for precise maritime navigation.

Space in support to autonomous shipping

Nil Angli
Business applications and partnerships officer
European Space Agency
Autonomous ships are inextricably linked to space: in open sea, communication between vessels and digital bridges relies on satellite connectivity; high-accuracy positioning relies on global navigation satellite systems (GNSS); and near real-time situational awareness information, such as weather and sea ice conditions, relies on Earth observation satellites. The European Space Agency (ESA) is committed to supporting the maritime industry to innovate by leveraging space data. This session will showcase past and ongoing autonomous shipping projects and will present future opportunities to collaborate with ESA.

W-band ultra high-resolution radar: The right technology for marine autonomy

Rachael O'Connor
Marine business development manager
Navtech Radar
This presenation will share the latest examples of data from real-world trials onboard autonomous vessels which utilise Navtech’s millimetre wave FMCW 76-77GHz radar technology. High resolution radars are providing superior detection capability for small targets, giving vessels unparalleled situational awareness in all weather and lighting conditions. This unlocks the ability for vessels to safely navigate congested waterways autonomously. A sensor comparison will be discussed, presenting the extended range, reliability, and high-resolution imaging that FMCW radar technology can offer when compared to both lidar and cameras.

Developing a COLREGS-compliant autonomous navigation system

Nigel Lee
Chief strategy officer
Robosys Automation
This presentation will review a +20-year journey to develop a maritime autonomous navigation system (ANS) for USVs. From an obstacle avoidance algorithm first developed for the NASA Mars Rover to real-life and simulated autonomous navigation and collision avoidance trials, it has proved its COLREGs compliance from Canada to Australia. With Indian Register of Shipping class society certification for its Voyager AI software on board an uncrewed 30m tug. Robosys is now working with integrated bridge system (IBS) manufacturers to develop a bridge-based collision avoidance decision aid (CADA) for lean crewed ships to improve safety in complex navigational waters.

Training and human factors

No dropouts, please – creating a future where human ingenuity meets cutting-edge technology

Sinikka Hartonen
Secretary general
One Sea Association
The rapid advancement in technology enables us to increase the usage of automation and autonomous functions in maritime operations. However, the idea that these developments will make seafarers redundant is misplaced. Instead of embracing this notion, we should focus on how we can harness the strengths of technology to enhance human capabilities and eliminate human weaknesses. This presentation highlights the importance of creating a future that allows seafarers and other maritime professionals to maintain their expertise and professional pride empowered by technology, not replaced by it.

Design and optimization of remote operating centers

John Cross
Marine Institute of Memorial University
In 2023 the Marine Institute completed The Launch facility in Holyrood Bay on Canada’s east coast and the home of the Marine Autonomous Systems Testbed (MAST) initiative. One of the projects housed under MAST is our research investigating the development and design of remote operating centers (ROCs). ROCs are going to play a key role in the future of autonomous ships but surprisingly little research has gone into their design, operating configurations and user needs. This presentation will discuss the development plan of our ROCs, functionalities and pathways forward.

Navigational training for maritime autonomous surface ships

Zakirul Bhuiyan
Warsash MASS Research Centre
The fast advancement of technology over the last decade has had an impact on all industries, including maritime. Maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS), which were once only a concept, are now becoming a reality. Several countries have made successful attempts to run MASS in coastal waters. The nations are competing to be the world leader in the field of maritime autonomy. However, in the midst of all this rivalry, little attention has been paid to the future navigational training difficulties. The crucial question is how this new disruptive technology will affect maritime education and training (MET).

Introducing Autonomous ships requires a holistic approach.

Antoon van Coillie
Zulu Associates/Anglo Belgian Shipping Company
Autonomous or remote operations of vessels need a holistic approach in order to benefit from the possibilities offered by this technology: sustainability, shortage of seafarers and their well-being, offering alternative links in logistic chains (modal shift). Not only need the vessels and their operations to be redesigned in a holistic way: i.e. hull, maneuverability, propulsion, communication, procedures, etc., but also, the infrastructure for handling the vessels, energy loading, energy availability will need to be redesigned and reconfigured, changing also the concepts of operation. Lastly, humans intervening with these vessels and the related infrastructure will need new training and a change of mind.

MASSPeople – integrating AI with MASS technical and engineering competencies: a roadmap for enhanced remote operations

Gordon Meadow
Chair IMarEST MASS SIG/founder & CEO
SeaBot XR
This presentation will delve into the evolving landscape of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) and the pivotal role of artificial intelligence (AI) in augmenting the technical and engineering competencies required by remote operations. It will outline a forward-looking roadmap that envisions a synergistic collaboration between human expertise and AI in MASS, focusing on upskilling the workforce, developing AI-driven solutions tailored to maritime contexts, and fostering a culture of continuous innovation. This roadmap not only aims to elevate the capabilities of MASS remote operations but also sets the stage for future advancements in autonomous maritime technologies.