Industry experts discussed trial project on unmanned navigation in Russia
The event involved more than 60 industry experts, lawyers and representatives of shipping companies
More than 60 industry experts, lawyers and representatives of shipping companies participated in the videoconference “Autonomous ships – progress or blind lane?” and open meeting of Marinet organized by PortNews Media Group.
The participants discussed the project on unmanned navigation in the Russian Federation, its progress, technical and regulatory aspects.
Shipping companies will be able to commence operation of Russian-flagged autonomous vessels from 2021, Alexander Pinskiy, General Director of Industry Association MARINET and the project lead, said at the videoconference. The Trial Project involves major Russian shipping companies Rosmorport, Sovcomflot and Pola Rise.
As Marinet member Vitaly Klyuev, Advisor to Pola-Invest LLC, told during the event, introduction of autonomous ships en masse is expected in the world on the horizon of five-ten years. According to him, ship owners are to benefit from saving on crew costs which can account for up to a half of all operational expenses. Intense work on development of international and Russia regulations is underway.
Among the national companies and organizations involved in the project are general contractor Kronshtadt Group, R&D company AME, Russian Satellite Communications Company, etc.
An insight into their developments including their principles and functioning was provided by Igor Anufriev, Deputy General Director for Strategic Development, AME; Sergey Kovalev, Director, Department for Management of Technical Facilities, Kronshtadt Technologies JSC; Aleksandr Potemkin, Director of Engineering, Kronshtadt Technologies JSC.
When speaking about the impact of autonomous shipping on the labour market, Vitaly Klyuev noted sufficiency of workplaces for the certified navigators since IMO estimates their deficit at 20% which is only to be covered by unmanned ships in the beginning. According to Alexander Pinsky, introduction of autonomous shipping ensures higher comfort and, what is more significant, higher safety for seafarers. Some of them will be involved as “maritime special forces” – emergency teams ready to board ships for controlling them manually or for responding to any possible problems.
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