11-14-2016 06:56 PM CET - Logistics & Transport
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Commodore Garry Beauvoir of Naval Defence Consulting presented the latest advances in Short Sea Transportation Systems in Europe to South Korean autonomous shipping project leaders

Press release from: Naval Defence Consulting

Commodore Garry Beauvoir described how the European Commission and Defence Agency have actively been driving two large Autonomous Ship projects, one of them is the MUNIN project, which was a highly successful concept study, investigating the feasibility of unmanned merchant ships.

The MUNIN-project has now matured into a higher level project called Raven.

The Raven project will use these results and outsights provided by MUNIN to develop what is being called the Short Sea Transportation Systems in Europe.

The objective of Project Raven is to develop an integrated transport system linking existing deep sea, feeder and rail services to a new and innovative waterborne national and inland system of autonomous short sea ships and shuttle barges. These vessels will be fully or partly electric to reduce costs and to provide a completely green transport service. Short distances and low capital costs makes electric propulsion feasible as one is able to provide sufficient port time for charging batteries.

The focus in this project has been on an end-to-end solution focusing on the "last mile" systems that today struggle with competition from truck transport, both because this will strengthen sea transport in this particular segment, but also because this will in general strengthen the existing hub and spikes structure in European maritime transport.

Commodore Garry Beauvoir of Naval Defence Consulting demonstrated that autonomous vehicles/vessels are not mentioned in International codes and conventions such as: SOLAS, UNCLOS, COLREGS, LLMC, MARPOL, STCW, ISM etc. And therefore the topic is being subject to interpretations and uncertainties, for example UNCLOS use both the term ship and vessel and neither is defined.

The European community concur with that they can’t wait for IMO for a world ratification, since national initiatives allow autonomous vessels on their domestic waters. We will have parallel development of autonomous systems and the technology will mature faster than the legislation/liability will be finalised within IMO.

In short the SARUMS UMS findings:

• UMS needs regulatory framework in which their design and operation can be assessed.
• Owners needs to understand how to define requirements
• Industry needs to be able to demonstrate compliance
• Operator training needs guidelines of what would qualify as properly trained and suitably qualified personnel
• Improved communications may be achieved between organisations, regulators, industry and the wider maritime community
• International approach would enhance acceptance and interoperability

In order to service the Defence Market in a dedicated manner, Naval Defence Consulting partners created a new venture with former Navy and an I.T. specialists to create Naval Defence Consulting.org (NDC.O) a Strategic Defence Company focused on Maritime Defence and Autonomous Shipping consulting and the development of Defence Systems.

Naval Defence Consulting
Minderbroedersberg
Maastricht Netherlands

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