Autonomous, or masterless ships are not a novel concept. The development of technologies that support the industry’s move to adopting greater automation, and even the complete automation of voyaging ships, is advancing at a rate of knots.
Scandinavian countries are known for being particularly pioneering in the field of digital ship technology. After all, they are home to an abundant quantity of advanced technology developers. Norway has just launched a test area for autonomous ships at Trondheim and they have established their own cooperation forum with the participation of a number of authority and industry partners. Now Denmark is driving with autonomous shipping research and development, alongside their Scandinavian cousins.
In fact, Minister for Business and Growth Troels Lund Poulsen said at the Danish maritime week held in Mid-October that: “This is really interesting area and, in the short term, the technology can be used to make our ships safer and more efficient. In the longer term, research in autonomous ships may become a great advantage for Blue Denmark.”
Therefore, driven by the fact that the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) wants to get better knowledge in this area, they recently announced that together with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) they will be initiating a pre-study on autonomous ships, financed by the Danish maritime fund.
The purpose of the pre-study is to ensure that the DMA has a Danish definition of what the concept actually covers. It will also increase the common knowledge base and to set the preliminary frames so that the development and use of unmanned ships can come about in what they call “an appropriate manner”.
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