Conference Program

Keynote presentations

Autonomy and shipping decarbonization

Stephen Brown
Innovation manager
The presentation will discuss how autonomy supports shipping decarbonization and plays a part in delivering the IMO 2050 ambition and the further ambition of zero-emissions vessels.

Next steps in evidence-driven evolution toward autonomous shipping

Kalevi Tervo
Corporate executive engineer
ABB Marine and Ports
Continuing the successful introduction of products enabling evidence-based evolution toward autonomous shipping, ABB will present an analysis of overcoming regulatory challenges regarding the computerization of certain key roles at the bridge. In addition, the latest development results and case examples will be presented. These will include discussion on an autonomous tug project in a collaborative trinity with flag state and shipyard/operator, as well as applications to increase safety and efficiency in conventional ships, applying new technologies that will be required for autonomous ships.

The case for vessels operating autonomously

Antoon van Coillie
Zulu Associates/Anglo Belgian Shipping Company
Autonomous shipping is driven by the need for sustainability. In this presentation Antoon van Coillie – who founded Zulu Associates, a platform to initiate, develop and invest in marine component of logistics chains – will explore the main areas of development pursued to achieve modal shift, such as autonomous inland barges and autonomous short sea shipping vessels, as well as alternative propulsion modes in order to achieve zero or near-zero emission propulsion in both cases.

Adopting MAS

Assessment of MAS impact on safety using historical data

Gordon Meadow
Chair IMarEST MASS SIG/Founder & CEO
SeaBot XR
John Cross
Professor of marine engineering
Marine Institute of Memorial University
The development of MAS could hold great promise for improvements in shipping safety. Apart from demonstration projects, MAS has yet to move into full-scale commercial operation, therefore little data or formal safety cases currently exist. Opportunely, there is however a large bank of available information on previous shipping accidents and incidents. This presentation will share the findings of a research project benchmarking the root causes of several historical shipping incidents and the quantitative impact of greater functional autonomy. We will explore safety improvements as well as where the introduction of greater automation could introduce new dangers.

Navigating the right course for MASS adoption

Rosalind Blazejczyk
Managing partner/naval architect
Solis Marine
There are currently more than 1,000 autonomous vessels operating in international waters and about 53 different organizations contributing to various regulatory groups working to help MASS coexist with manned shipping. In the past six years, remote and unmanned vessels have successfully navigated tens of thousands of incident-free operative days. Next-gen MASS is no longer a purely academic exercise. So how do we better communicate the safety and advantages of autonomous systems and grow trust among the skeptical big shipping industry? One solution is to use big data to develop a new industry-wide ecosystem where innovation can flourish.

Finding the benefits in autonomous maritime transport

Jukka Merenluoto
Ecosystem lead
Drivers for the use of autonomous technologies in the maritime business are cost savings, increased safety and sustainability. The presentation will give examples of all the drivers, and aims to explain the ways in which autonomous maritime traffic can improve the sustainability of maritime traffic by increasing its efficiency. The presentation will also detail the work that One Sea Alliance has done recently, such as participating in IMO work and the creation of international standards for MASS (maritime autonomous surface ships), etc.

MARLab: Regulating for Innovation

Katrina Kemp
Maritime & Coastguard Agency
MARLab the Maritime Autonomy Regulation Lab of the UK will be used to develop a domestic regulatory framework for maritime autonomy. It will operate two major work streams. The first is regulatory and will aim to identify barriers to innovation, find best practice from other sectors and nations and to pioneer new approaches. The second major work stream is around data. Starting with the MCAs own situational awareness datasets, investigate their value in testing new tech and allowing new ideas to enter the sector. In this presentation Katrina Kemp form the UK's Maritime & Coastguard Agency will outline how the MARLab approach can help facilitate MASS internationally.

Maintenance and port technologies for unmanned vessels

DiMOS – Digital Monitoring of Ships

Simon Edmondson
CMServices Global Ltd
With the advent of autonomous and unmanned shipping the relevance of the DiMOS project is enhanced. The DiMOS project proposes a prescriptive maintenance digital platform for condition monitoring and maintenance planning of a ship’s structure, engine machinery and auxiliary system by real-time sensor data and AI-based models to prescribe maintenance based on monitored condition and taking into account risk level, maintenance timing and associated cost. The project is scheduled to last two years and will be carried out by bringing together the combined expertise of five partners who have specialist skills in the required areas of development. The UK government body Innovate UK understands the importance of this initiative and is providing approximately £2m of grant.

Maintaining the unmanned ship

Stig Eriksen
University of Southern Denmark
Unmanned operation may reduce the overall workload required to operate autonomous and unmanned ships but it does not eliminate it altogether. Some tasks, such as maintenance, cannot reasonably be automated or eliminated with today’s technology. With research from today’s modern cargo vessels as a reference, this presentation investigates how much of the work done on board today can be done remotely, how much can be automated and how much must be done on board the autonomous and unmanned ships of the future.

Does autonomous shipping require an autonomous port?

Jan Egbertsen
Manager - innovation
Port of Amsterdam
The development of autonomous ships looks like a technology push. Is the market really willing to use autonomous ships? And what do we as port authorities have to do to be able to accept an autonomous ship in the seaport? Perhaps the focus in this discussion should be on smart ships and smart ports? How can both developments push each other further?

Highly maneuverable full-scale testing of a remotely controlled tug

Hans-Christoph Burmeister
Head of department
Fraunhofer CML
The German FernSAMS project aims to develop a fully remotely controlled tug based on Voith-Schneider's RAVE Tug concept and an AR control environment. This presentation will give insights into the simulation trials held in November 2019 with regard to augmented reality acceptance; it will also provide examples of direct feedback from the first full-scale testing in spring 2020.

Human factors

Officer 4.0: a new training paradigm

Sandro Stefani
Fondazione Accademia Italiana della Marina Mercantile
Digitization has substantially changed the design and operation of vessels by their crew. Officers are taking on more challenging responsibilities and thus require a new training model. The training model developed by the Italian Maritime Academy is the result of teamwork by representatives from different disciplines, including experts in the impact of emerging technologies from the human factor point of view. Topics such as the ability to work as a team, leadership, decision making, problem solving and situational awareness have been added to the educational program as part of 'soft skills' development for cadets. The paper will discuss the results.

Periodically unmanned bridge – status of the Danish B0/UMB project

Erik Tvedt
Special advisor, naval architect
Danish Maritime Authority
The presentation will discuss Denmark's work on enabling the 'periodically unmanned bridge' concept for SOLAS vessels. The focus will be on how to make it both safe and legal, not only for testing purposes but also for ordinary operation.

Panel Discussion

Autonomous and smart ships as enablers for decarbonization

With decarbonization becoming an increasingly prominent policy objective, this panel will discuss what role autonomous and smart shipping can play in achieving carbon emission reductions.
Stephen Brown
Innovation manager
Antoon van Coillie
Zulu Associates/Anglo Belgian Shipping Company
Jan Egbertsen
Manager - innovation
Port of Amsterdam
Jukka Merenluoto
Ecosystem lead

Autonomy in defense applications

Autonomous naval seaboats and the challenges of warship integration

Mike Woods
Chief technologist
BAE Systems Maritime Services
The speaker will provide an overview of the BAE Systems Pacific class unmanned surface vessel program, with particular focus on the challenges of warship integration and how the company intends to transition USV technology from research and development to meaningful operational capability. Examples will be drawn from a number of naval sea trials undertaken throughout 2019, including a live firing exercise and a warship integration activity undertaken on Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll.

From research to operational capability: a maritime autonomy success story

Ralph Dodds
Programme lead for innovation and autonomous systems research
Atlas Elektronik UK Ltd
Unmanned surface vessels have progressed a long way in the past 20 years, and now offer a credible alternative to manned vessels in the delivery of operational capability. This presentation will show how low-TRL research, to meet a Gulf War 2 urgent operational requirement, developed into day-to-day reality for Royal Navy mine countermeasures. It will outline the progression of sense-and-avoid technologies, situational awareness and adherence to the Collision Regulations to provide operators with the confidence and capability they need.

The opportunities and challenges of integrating intelligent systems into naval platforms

Christopher Burnside
System design and architecting capability lead
Artificial intelligence and autonomous systems are key disruptive technologies with widespread application potential and opportunities for transformation. However, the route to development and integration is made somewhat more demanding by a range of challenging questions spanning a multitude of domains. Adopting a bottom-up approach, this presentation looks at six core high-level functional groups: navigation, warfare, platform systems, maintenance, logistics and recoverability. The insights gained from this work can be used to challenge current design conventions and establish where the focus should be to provide a seismic step change for current and future naval platforms.

Autonomy on inland waterways

Autonomous ferry implementation in the Netherlands

Paul Tilmans
Autonomous shipping FMN
Future Mobility Network
The autonomous ferry is ready for implementation. The Future Mobility Network is leading in autonomous shuttle implementation in the Netherlands. The autonomous ferry is one of the key projects for implementing autonomous ships with healthy business cases. We have done several case studies for locations and we’d like to show these use cases and the lessons learned so far. Challenges in legislation and safety are a priority to make this business case valuable. Learning by doing with knowledge institutes and government is key. We will provide an overview of use cases for automated ferries.

Roboat – A fleet of autonomous boats for Amsterdam

Ynse Deinema
Project coordinator Roboat
AMS Institute
Roboat is a 5 year research project and collaboration between the AMS Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Together we investigate the potential of self-driving technology to change our cities and their waterways. Roboat demonstrates a new kind of on-demand waterborne infrastructure: autonomous platforms will combine together to form floating bridges and stages, collect waste, deliver goods, and transport people, all while collecting data about the city. In 2020 we will start experimenting with our fullscale prototype on the canals of Amsterdam.

Autonomous testing in the Netherlands – what we learned from it

Nancy Scheijven
Director - vessel traffic and water management
Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has made testing with smart ships possible on inland waterways as well as on territorial seas. Up to 2020, five official tests have been carried out. Furthermore, two roundtable conferences on the subject of legislation have taken place. We expect that in the forthcoming years, automation on large ships will mainly be used to help the present crew. That is why we decided to put our energy into drone-type vessels first. Our goal is to make the use of these unmanned free-floating vessels legally possible and to define criteria for the safe use of these water drones.

Smart inland navigation

Ann-Sofie Pauwelyn
RIS project manager - smart shipping
De Vlaamse Waterweg NV
This presentation will give an overview of the test projects on smart shipping in Flanders, including the policy work the Flemish Government has done to enable these tests. New initiatives inside the CCNR and EU will be presented as well.

Data and connectivity

The elephant in the room: data standardization

Giampiero Soncini
IB - Influencing Business
Digitization, a must for unmanned ships, cannot happen without setting different types of standards. It has taken 20 years to adopt a common standard for ECDIS; perhaps on MASS it could take less time if people start talking about the issues before it's too late.

Maritime 5G and related work in Norway

Dr Kun Yang
Super Radio AS
Autonomous shipping is considered to be one of the most important technologies in the maritime industry. Remote control of autonomous ships is supported by communication solutions featuring long coverage, high throughput and low latency. Since 2016, 'LTE, WIFI and 5G Massive MIMO Communications in Maritime Propagation Environments' (MAMIME), the world’s first maritime 5G communications project, has been funded by the Norwegian Research Council and led by Super Radio AS. This presentation will outline the MAMIME project and related maritime 5G research with autonomous ships.

Robustness, reliability and cybersecurity for autonomous ship systems

Dr Henry Robinson
Managing director
Dynautics Ltd
This presentation will consider cybersecurity in the broader context of robustness and reliability that is necessary for operating autonomous and unmanned ships of the future. The need for a high level of dual redundancy, all the way from the RCC to the machinery control units, coupled with a high degree of failsafe cross-connectivity, needs to be balanced against the costs of such systems, compared with the comparative simplicity that is possible using conventional manned platforms. The presentation will consider parallels in related industries (aviation and ground vehicles) and the threats posed not only by malicious cyberattacks but also by a wide range of potentially disruptive influences.

Situational awareness as the backbone of smart and sustainable shipping

Jukka Paananen
Senior vice president
BaseN Corporation
This presentation will describe how to enable real-time, bi-directional data flows for the next generation of ships and components, allowing the transformation from digital twins to spimes, the virtual counterparts of any physical things.

Securing data connectivity requirements: from unmanned to autonomy

Heikki Keränen
Solution manager
Satel Oy
Today’s offering for maritime connectivity is very wide: satellite systems are the natural choice for offshore connectivity. Ferry routes can be equipped with wi-fi or microwave networks. Connectivity by the shorelines and at the ports can be established with cellular technologies, with significant enhancements provided by 5G and VDES being standardized. Proprietary HF, UHF, VHF radio data protocols for sub-GHz frequencies are less-known but also widely used technologies. What are the significant characteristics of each communication technology? What are the requirements for the connectivity of unmanned or autonomous maritime operation and how do they compare against the requirements?

The importance of data quality for autonomous ships

Igor Susmelj
Improved data selection has enabled various companies to improve AI models for autonomous driving, drones and visual inspection using deep learning. This technical talk will explore how to select the most informative samples out of the millions available, and how this can lead to significant savings in data annotation costs while increasing accuracy.

Collision avoidance

Machine learning for autonomous navigation: challenges and solutions

Andreas Brandsæter
Senior researcher
We discuss challenges and potential solutions related to verification and assurance of machine-learning-based autonomous functions, with a special focus on navigation and situational awareness. Challenges include lack of specification, explainability, robustness, performance evaluation metrics and uncertainty quantification.

How can we trust autonomous vessels in congested water spaces?

Hannah Thomas
Data science lead
Little more than five years ago, ‘autonomy’ meant remote-control or a simple plotted route. Skip to today: autonomy refers to a vessel’s ability to understand and react to its surrounding environment in a COLREG-aware manner. L3Harris’s Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) team is developing a suite of autonomous capabilities to enable different mission types in various operational environments. This presentation will uncover the ‘autonomy toolbox’ required for safe and reliable autonomous navigation, including object identification, collision avoidance and precise line following.

Nearshore collision avoidance solution development based on Vision AI

Dr Sewon Kim
Principal researcher
Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co Ltd
Most ship collision accidents occur in the nearshore area, such as ports and channels with high traffic. Conventionally, AROA (radar) and AIS are used for collision avoidance in an autonomous vessel. We have developed a computer-vision AI-based collision avoidance system for large merchant vessels. With regard to the collision avoidance controller, a change in maneuvering performance in the nearshore area is implemented. The container carrier case will be presented to prove the performance of the newly developed collision avoidance algorithm.

The path toward autonomy in offshore operations: collision prevention tool

Alexander Mordvintsev
Product development manager
Navis Engineering Oy
Ilia Maslov
DP superintendent
Bourbon Offshore
Operations of dynamically positioned vessels in safety zones of offshore installations are among the most demanding marine activities. A variety of rules, guidelines and dependence on environmental forces keeps DP operators continuously stressed and leaves chances for human errors. A joint development project of Bourbon and Navis is intended to provide decision support for DP operators. It also aims to prepare the basics for unmanned operation of offshore supply vessels by optimal installation approach/escape routes, automated vessel capability, integrity checks (based on operation activity planning) and other methods. One of the most important features is a plan to collect vessels' big data.

Legal and liability

Evolution of marine insurance and P&I Club cover for MASS

Sean Pribyl
Lawyer, senior claims executive
Gard AS
It is a commonly accepted principle in marine commerce that ships do not go to sea without insurance. Emerging technologies present challenges to the consistent application of operational norms and compliance with international conventions that are vital to legal obligations and traditional P&I Club insurance cover. Marine insurers are thus undertaking the complex assessment of risk allocation attendant to the needs of the operators under a framework historically designed for manned operations, including tort liability matters such as negligence and product liability in design. This presentation will discuss how P&I Clubs are evolving to address these emerging legal challenges.

Legal investigation of a collision between autonomous and conventional ships

Jonathan Goulding
Associate and mariner
The year is 2024. An unmanned cargo ship (Autonomy Level 3), fully laden with a cargo of agritech products, loses power as a result of a cyberattack shortly after leaving harbor. Control is unable to be regained and the vessel collides with an inbound handymax bulk carrier, causing significant damage to both vessels. The presentation will examine how such an incident will be investigated, legal and liability issues, and issues of cybersecurity and insurance.

Key roles of shipmasters and ships for MASS @IMO

Andrew Higgs
Independent legal risk management consultant and lawyer
Setfords Solicitors, City of London
IFSMA has presented a paper to be considered for the agenda of MSC 102 @IMO, with a view to influencing Stage 2 of the Regulatory Scoping Exercise of MASS. It was drafted by the speaker on the instructions of the secretary general of IFSMA, and articulates certain underlying assumptions and potential gaps in the legal and regulatory framework for discussion in the Legal Committee at IMO in March 2020 and at MSC in May 2020. It is intended to provide some informed thought leadership in the debate and discussion over the coming months.
Please note: this conference program may be subject to change




June 23, 24, 25, 2020