New Technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Shipping law in the 21st Century

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Autonomous shipping and maritime law

Autonomous shipping and maritime law

Paul Dean*
1 and Henry Clack*2

1 Introduction

Once mere science fiction, autonomous ships (known as Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships or “MASS”) will soon become a part of commercial reality. Whilst the international law of the sea has, in its current format, historically been flexible enough to cope with the rise of steam power and the use of containers, some reform will be required in order to allow MASS to operate beyond the limits of territorial waters. This chapter examines the legal standing of MASS in relation to international conventions which govern the use of commercial vessels and discusses their potential contractual and non-contractual realities.

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