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Game changing approach needed to the 'smart ship'

Game changing approach needed to the 'smart ship'

As the shipping industry moves towards the era of the “smart ship” Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) president Esben Poulsson says a game changing rather incremental approach is required.

Speaking at the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) Seminar 2016: Smart Ships Poulsson said that with the impact we have seen from smart phones, and the upcoming trend of smart houses and cars, it was time for the maritime community to start embracing the concept of smart ships.

He noted that the industry had in general focused on optimising existing technologies and short-term measures, something which was understandable came against a background of mere survival as is the case for many at present.

“What we need is a game changing approach for a new era of shipping and sustainability.”

There was a similar message from Brijesh Tewarim, principal specialist, marine and consultancy services for Lloyd’s Register Asia who said, “Shipping has till today remained traditional but that has to change.” Smart ships would see fundamental changes in vessel design and building.

With shipping facing a shortage in skilled manpower with seafaring knowledge and experience smart ships could help address this issue

“We should view this situation as a driver for automation andautonomy in the form of intelligent and smart ships. With the removal of people from tasks that are of lower value and dangerous in nature, we can better optimise manpower resource while enhancing productivity and safety,” Poulsson said.

But the human element will remain an important one. “Our vision for autonomous smart ships should not be one that is fully mechanised but one with a human heart. The human element should never be removed entirely from the equation. Instead, it must remain at the core of smart ship technologies and operations,” he added.

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