Autonomous Ships and the Law

Page 23

Chapter 3

Autonomous offender ships and international maritime security law

Anna Petrig

1. Ship automation and the neglected maritime security dimension

What was but a futuristic scenario barely a decade ago is increasingly becoming a reality: autonomous ships1 cruising the oceans. Successful trials, tests, and operation of this emerging technology in the civilian shipping world are being announced regularly and at ever shorter intervals.2 The question, therefore, is no longer whether the turn to automation in shipping takes place, but rather at what pace and in what form it will occur. The view that autonomous ships are not “technologies of passing interest”3 receives strong support from the fact that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has invested significant resources in better understanding the legal implications of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) through a Regulatory Scoping Exercise (RSE). The exercise is not only comprehensive, with more than 30 IMO treaties being analyzed with a view to their applicability and continued relevance for MASS operations,4 but also highly proactive5 and conducted at a fast pace.6 What is more, the IMO has already issued “Interim Guidelines for MASS Trials,” which aim to ensure that experiments with autonomous ships and the related infrastructure “are conducted safely, securely and with due regard for protection of the environment.”7

The rest of this document is only available to i-law.com online subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, click Log In button.

Copyright © 2024 Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited. Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 13831625 and address 5th Floor, 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD, United Kingdom. Lloyd's List Intelligence is a trading name of Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited.

Lloyd's is the registered trademark of the Society Incorporated by the Lloyd's Act 1871 by the name of Lloyd's.