Talk of autonomous ships needs to consider human element

Consideration needs more than ever to be given to the human element of future vessel operations as vessels become more and more autonomous, said David Patraiko FNI, Director of Projects this week at The Nautical Institute. Speaking at the “Autonomous, Robotics and loT – exploring the potential and human impact” conference organised by the Women in Shipping and Trading Association(WISTA-UK) as part of London International Shipping Week, he said the human element could not and should not be ignored.

“Although some might be surprised that the leading maritime professional organization that is so well recognized for its commitment to the human element should be involved in the autonomous vessel debate, there are some very good reasons,” he said, noting that autonomous vessels would be increasingly interacting with manned vessels. The Nautical Institute’s work was of importance in ensuring relationships between the autonomous vessels and humans. “NI members are already dealing with many autonomous systems onboard, including machinery, cargo, communications and navigation,” he said. “Understanding and refining the interaction between the human and these systems is a priority as we move into the future,” he said.