tech

AI, captain! First autonomous ship prepares for maiden voyage

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By Anna CUENCA

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will the human element , the "SAILOR" be made redundant in 2100 with unmanned MERCHANT NAVY SHIPS being a reality and not mere science fiction of 2021 ?

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AI, captain!

Nice.

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And when it's hacked?

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before self-activating a hydrophone designed to listen to whales.

What about dinghies full of asylum seekers crossing the channel?

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It's essentially, a waterborne drone.

https://www.offshore-energy.biz/russia-starts-creating-commercial-fleet-of-autonomous-vessels/

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Civil and military applications for the technology. Commercial ship owners can't wait to eliminate the cost of crewing their ships. Teaching ships to recognize small craft and to respond correctly to all the many situations ships encounter at sea and entering and leaving ports will be a huge challenge. Can an automated ship see a Ball-Diamond-Ball pennant signifying a "Ship restricted in ability to maneuver" in order to give it the right of way in a situation where under normal rules of navigation the autonomous ship would have the right of way? Can it tell a sailing vessel from a powered one as the sailing vessel generally has the right of way over a powered vessel. Are there sensors adequate to the task that are reliable in all sea states and weather conditions?

Something like this but larger could become an unmanned, offboard magazine and additional sensor platform for a manned surface combatant with their sensors and those of the manned ship fused to create a single picture of the battle space. A single manned ship might control several unmanned ships. Small autonomous versions could conduct stealthy and persistent surveillance in places where larger manned ships would be more easily detected, or have to leave station regularly to replenish fuel and stores where the unmanned version could remain on station longer. And if you lose an unmanned ship it's not such a big deal.

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