A great deal of debate and speculation surrounds autonomous sailing. And while MARIN does not pretend to know all the answers, we are taking practical steps to assist in its development.

The introduction of further autonomy in shipping firstly aims to facilitate much higher safety standards, but at the same time, a reduction in manning. MARIN is focusing on three main areas in relation to autonomous sailing. We believe it is important to study the ship in relation to traffic control, to understand nautical safety issues and the definition of new manning roles, including those onshore.

Additionally, in an effort to further research into autonomous sailing, MARIN, together with the Dutch maritime industry, has already started a new Joint Industry Project. Within ‘Autonomous Sailing’ we will look together into the available technology required.

In this article we outline the various roles control and vessel modelling play in the development
of autonomous sailing.

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