International Ship Autonomy and Sustainability Summit

The International Ship Autonomy Summit is the leading international conference for decision and strategy makers within the area of autonomous ships. It aims to have an up-to-date technical foundation but still focus more on the implications that the emerging technology and policies have on the deployment of autonomous ships and, in turn, what this means for maritime transport systems internationally. Two summits have been held before:

Draft programme – version 2021-10-28

All titles, descriptions and speakers are tentative!

Programme overview

  • 0900: Welcome (NFAS Chairperson, Norwegian official, EU official)
  • 0915: Setting the scene: Conclusions from the 2nd Summit (EU DG MOVE)
  • 0925: Panel 1: Regulations – national, regional or international?
  • 1040: Break and refreshments
  • 1100: Panel 2: Seven years after MUNIN – The industry’s outlook today?
  • 1215: On-line conversation with an “autonomous” captain – during lunch break
  • 1220: Lunch (buffet with possibilities to mingle)
  • 1315: Keynote: New transport systems – not only rules and technology
  • 1330: Panel 3: How can autonomy and smart ships contribute to zero emission solutions – new supply chains and business models?
  • 1445: Break and refreshments (including live transmission from Mayflower Autonomous Ship)
  • 1515: Panel 4: Integration with shore services, ports and hinterland – creating intelligent maritime transport systems?
  • 1630: End of summit and conclusions
  • 1640: Reception with drinks and snacks

The format consists of four panels where panellists get a few minutes to present themselves and their position within the theme of the specific panel. Thereafter a moderated discussion takes place, based on a list of previously agreed questions. Questions from the public will also be accommodated if time allows.

0925: Panel 1: Regulations – National, regional or international?

What is happening in IMO, when can we expect international rules? These rules may well be goal-based – what will this mean for more specific international standards, or national or regional legislation? Are national and regional legislative and regulatory initiatives going to bridge the gap before international regulation is in place? What is the time frame and how do the different approaches link into civil liability and insurance?

Are we really looking for full autonomy? Uncrewed operation has clear benefits, but does this really mean autonomous?  When using a remote control centre, is a ship without crew onboard really unmanned? The technology also has important safety-enhancing applications on crewed ships – how do we encourage this to be taken up by the industry?

1100: Panel 2: Seven years after MUNIN – The industry’s outlook today?

The first large scale concept study of autonomous ships, the EU project MUNIN, ended in 2015. What is the status now, in terms of actual products and services? What are the industry’s comments on the regulatory developments, how fast will this develop to unmanned operation? What are the ambitions for the industry? Waiting for regulations or pursuing shorter term goals? Beyond building own competitive capacity, what needs are there for cooperation?

From the industry’s perspective, is the current goal autonomy, uncrewed operation, or just operator assistance? Where are the most important benefits to gain? Are these benefits related to safety, sustainability, crew working conditions or economy? How will these benefits be realized? How does this relate to the type of trade the ship is involved in?

1330: Panel 3: How can autonomy and smart ships contribute to zero emission solutions – New supply chains and business models?

Many carbon-free fuels will be challenging both in terms of price, storage space and handling. Overall, minimizing energy use will likely become very important. What kind of new, efficient, and more sustainable business models are needed? What role will automation and autonomous ships play? Are autonomous ships really doing the same thing as conventional ships, or are they new and integral parts of the supply chains or transport systems?

From the logistics operators’ point of view, what are the main objectives for using autonomy? Many smaller ships, more automation in ports, or more cargo capacity by having no crew onboard? What are the main drivers? Safety, cost, resilience, or sustainability? What new challenges must the wider logistics community face or solve to make these new transport systems a reality?

1515: Panel 4: Integration with shore services, ports, and hinterland – Creating intelligent maritime transport systems?

Smarter ships can make ship transport more efficient, more sustainable, and safer. However, we also need to make the coastal and fairway services, as well as port and hinterland transport operations, more integrated with the ship transport operations. Digitalization and automation will be important factors here, for liner shipping as well as for other types of ship transport. How can we achieve integration of highly automated ships with shore services, ports and hinterland? How can digitalization, smart and autonomous operations on ships, in shore services and in ports improve efficiency and sustainability? Will this apply only to the large seaports and their host countries, or will also regional and smaller ports see increased digitalization and automation?

How important will standards be? Who will develop these standards? How do we ensure interoperability between standards and specifications from flag states, port states, logistics operators, ship operations and ports? How can we ensure that also smaller ports take active part in these developments?

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