Disruptive Technologies Climate Change and Shipping

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The human element in autonomous shipping

The human element in autonomous shipping

Zoumpoulia Amaxilati

9.1 Introduction

Speaking about the human element in autonomous shipping may seem paradoxical: how will human intervention be at all relevant once maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) will enter into use? It is certainly true that when fully autonomous ships are introduced, certain types of human element will inevitably become obsolete. At this highest degree of autonomy, for example, traditional on-board personnel will be replaced by an operating system capable of making decisions and determining actions by itself without any human intervention2 (though even here it is worth noting that the complete absence of any remote and/or on-board human control will not preclude the possibility of human observation in the form of on-board or shore-based security personnel).3

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