Patrick PotgravenPatrick Potgraven is heading the Smart Shipping program of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The program is preparing the government for the introduction of smart ships for sea as well as inland water. This preparation concerns policy and lawmaking, but also adaptions of infrastructure and services provided by the authorities.
Allowing unmanned ships in inland waters
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.