Autonomous and remotely operated ships
|Publication Date:||1 September 2021|
Sec.2 provides the main principles forming the foundation for DNV's approach for assessment of autonomous and remotely operated vessels.
Sec.3 describes processes to follow to obtain approval of designs applying novel technologies for autonomous and remote control of ship functions. The process described in Sec.3  is intended for new operational concepts challenging statutory regulations with respect to minimum required manning. Sec.3  describes a process for technology developers seeking verification of capabilities and performance of their technology.
The guideline also establishes a safety framework in form of technical guidance for such concepts and technologies. Sec.4 provides guidance to arrangements and technologies supporting remote control of navigation functions, while Sec.5 provides corresponding guidance for remote control of engineering functions. Sec.6 provides technical guidance to arrangements in the remote control centre. Technical guidance to the communication link connecting the remote control centre with the vessel, as well as technical guidance to other communication functions for the vessel and the remote control centre, is given in Sec.7.
Novel technology related to autonomous and remote control of vessel functions may enable a variety of new operational concepts. This edition of the guideline covers four types of concepts:
- Decision supported navigational watch
This concept is based on enhanced decision support systems supporting an on-board officer in charge of the navigational watch in performing tasks for the navigation function. The incentive for such a concept may be to cover tasks conventionally done by the crew with advanced technology (e.g. look-out), or it may be for the purpose to enhance the safety and facilitate the officer in performing the navigation function.
- Remote navigational watch
This concept is based on the tasks, duties and responsibilities of an officer in charge of the navigational watch being covered by personnel in an off-ship remote control centre. This concept assumes that no crew is available on board to support the remote personnel in performing the navigation function and the radio communication function as defined in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) code.
- Remote engineering watch assisted by personnel on board
This concept is based on the tasks, duties and responsibilities of an officer in charge of the engineering watch being covered by personnel in an off-ship remote control centre. For this concept, it is assumed that crew is available on board to perform certain defined tasks and assist the remote personnel as needed.
- Remote engineering watch
This concept is based on the tasks, duties and responsibilities of an officer in charge of the engineering watch being covered by personnel in an off-ship remote control centre. This concept assumes that no crew is available on board to support the remote personnel in performing the marine engineering function.
The above concepts may be linked to the degrees of autonomy used by IMO for their scoping exercise of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS):
1) ships with automated processes and decision support
2) remotedly controlled ships with seafarers on board
3) remotely controlled ships without seafarers on board
4) fully autonomous ships.