With global efforts accelerating toward the practical use of
technology for autonomous operation of ships, numerous questions arise
regarding the risks associated with the use of these technologies and how it
will impact the shipping industry. The classification society ClassNK has begun
joint investigative research with Sompo Japan Insurance for a risk assessment
of autonomous ships.
Many people in the shipping industry and technology believe
the use of autonomous operations or remote control may be a promising way to
improve safety by preventing human error related to ship maneuvering, It also
is viewed in some regions, including Japan, as a way to address some of the
growing shortages of qualified mariners as well as to improve working
conditions by reducing the workload of crew members.
With the implementation of demonstration projects and the
development of the guidelines led by the government, the framework for safety
evaluation is in progress in Japan according to ClassNK.
Building on developments in the field, Sompo Japan and the
class society have begun joint investigative research on the risk assessment of
autonomous ships. The risk assessment is considered an important step to ensure
the safety of autonomous ships.
Utilizing ClassNK’s knowledge of ships, and Sompo Japan’s
knowledge on risks associated with ship operation and management based on
underwriting ship insurance, they will carry out an optimal risk assessment for
autonomous ships by researching and sharing their knowledge. They will also
incorporate knowledge on risk assessment for the practical application of
autonomous vehicles developed by SOMPO Risk Management Inc., which is in charge
of risk management operations in the SOMPO Group.
They began their research in February 2021 and aim to
announce the results in 2022. Through the results of various partnerships,
ClassNK seeks to reinforce its knowledge of risk assessment as a classification
society and will strive to contribute to the implementation of autonomous ship