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Conference Program

Adopting MASS

Regulatory development on MASS, as seen from a Flag State perspective

Erik Tvedt
Special advisor, naval architect
Danish Maritime Authority

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.

The benefits in autonomous maritime transport

Jukka Merenluoto
Senior ecosystem lead
Päivi Haikkola
Senior ecosystem lead
DIMECC / One Sea
Drivers for the use of autonomous technologies in the maritime business are cost savings, increased safety and sustainability. The presentation will focus on introducing an example of the business case for increased automation, based on a study initiated by One Sea. The presentation will also discuss the global standardization efforts to further increase automation in maritime logistics chains.

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.

Takeovers and Lessons-Learnt for Autonomous Shipping from the Automotive Sector

Andreas Kuhn
Whilst autonomous shipping is ramping up and increasing efforts are invested in the domain, automated driving in the automotive domain reached the “Trough of Disillusionment” according to the Gartner hype cycle. What can the maritime industry learn from the automotive industry and which takeovers can be used to find some short cuts avoiding unnecessary fails? The presentation strives to compare the requirements from automotive and marine industry in the attempt to address synergies and challenges to overcome most effectively. Namely some new development paradigms must be introduced from the beginning to accomplish safety regulations.

Panel Discussion

Data and connectivity

Digital awareness is the future of navigation

Jacob Ruytenbeek
We are witnessing one of the most significant changes to navigation since people first set sail thousands of years ago: the shift away from reactive navigation through eyes and ears to proactive navigation through digital awareness. Autonomous ships must understand the context in which they operate. But to scale autonomous operations, they must also have awareness and an understanding of intent. But what does this mean and how do we achieve it? This talk will explain what digital awareness is and why it is fundamental to enabling safe, scalable autonomous ship operations.

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.

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.


Legal and liability

Building the business case for autonomy: The legal and regulatory considerations from the U.S. perspective

Sean Pribyl
Senior counsel
Holland & Knight LLP

Legal design in maritime technology deployment

Dr David Cowan
Associate Lecturer in Law
Maynooth University
This presentation will provide a legal outlook on the threats, opportunities and strategies in designing and deploying maritime technologies, focused on cybersecurity, blockchain and autonomous ships. The paper will look at the legal implications of the digital transformation of the shipping industry and whether this is a question of IT or governance. Other questions addressed will include: Does autonomous shipping create more vulnerability? What legal and compliance actions need to be taken before autonomous shipping becomes more commonplace? What are the other key areas to prioritize?

Key roles of Shipmasters, and All Ships, for the RSE of 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.

Panel Discussion - Legal investigation of a 2024 collision between an autonomous and a conventional ship

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. This panel discussion will examine how such an incident will be investigated, legal and liability issues, and issues of cybersecurity and insurance.
Mark Johnson
Haynes and Boone LLP
Sean Pribyl
Senior counsel
Holland & Knight LLP
Jonathan Goulding, associate and mariner, HFW


Cyber-Security and Maritime Autonomy

Jake Rigby
Research & development lead
Jacques-Antoine Portal
Cyber consultant
Maritime Autonomous Navigation is developing rapidly which raises unique security challenges. It requires a wide range of technologies, from very reliable positioning systems to fast machine learning algorithms. Cyber-Security must be at the centre of this technological innovation to ensure its viability. Thankfully, concepts borrowed from autonomous driving such as “Public Key Infrastructure” and “Cryptographic Agility” can be used to ensure the integrity of the surplus data required by ships to navigate autonomously. Furthermore, Cyber-Security elements from traditional IT systems such as “Trust Platform Modules” could be extended to secure the mix of complex software and hardware.

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.


Collision avoidance

Autonomous navigation using next-generation (IHO S100) marine data fusion

Philip Thompson
In winning the inaugural UK Hydrographic Office International Marine Challenge, BMT created an innovative autonomous navigation simulation system and demonstrated its use synthetically for a 150m autonomous passenger ferry navigating in Plymouth, UK. The new system combines BMT’s field-proven Rembrandt and Tuflow 3D navigation and hydraulic simulation technologies with ultra-high-granularity (spatial and temporal) data feeds in line with the next-generation IHO S-100 data standards for bathymetry, tidal stream, tidal height and current, and other environmental data such as AIS and ship routing data. This paper describes the approach taken and demonstrates the specific applications for large ships.

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.


Autonomy on inland waterways

Smart, smarter… smartest? The Flemish Smart Shipping program

Ann-Sofie Pauwelyn
RIS project manager - smart shipping
De Vlaamse Waterweg NV
The presentation will discuss the start of the smart shipping program, the results it has produced already and the ongoing projects (tests, infrastructure, regulations). It will conclude with some of the challenges that automated shipping will face in the future.

Roboat – a fleet of autonomous boats for Amsterdam

Ynse Deinema
Project coordinator - Roboat
AMS Institute
Roboat is a five-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 join 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 full-scale prototype on the canals of Amsterdam.


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.


Human factors

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.

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.

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.


Infrastructure for MASS

Smart shipping and the role of the seaport

Jan Egbertsen
Manager - innovation
Port of Amsterdam
What challenges are there for a port to be ready for smart and autonomous ships? This presentation offers some experiences from a port authority.

Digital infrastructure for smart waterways

Juraj Pavlica
On the road toward unmanned and autonomous applications there is a lot of emphasis on onboard software and sensors. But what about the infrastructure side? How can we upgrade it and what services does it need to provide to solve communication, computation and common robotics problems while avoiding vendor lock-in? We have developed and patented an innovative solution that brings computation close to the water and provides a set of essential real-time services to the vessels, authorities and other stakeholders – all based on a live high-definition 3D map of the waterways while maintaining compatibility with legacy systems.

Port digital twin development use case for autonomous vessels

Dr Sewon Kim
Assistant professor
Sejong University
To realize autonomous shipping, it is worth digitalizing and autonomizing the seaborne trade supply chain as well. The port is the hub component in the future maritime supply chain because its role is to connect sea and land autonomous transportation. Thus, it is valuable to explore how the port could be prepared for the autonomous maritime value chain. This presentation will discuss the essential components of the port digital twin for autonomous vessels. It will also introduce a real port digital twin development use case (Busan Port).

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.


Please note: this conference program may be subject to change