Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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35 Summer 2015 Proceedings The concept of unmanned shipping is not technologically challenging, as the maritime industry has been moving in this direction for many years. Unmanned maritime sys- tems (UMS) exist today, and their presence in the maritime environment will increase. Undersea and surface systems currently resemble everything from torpedoes and rigid hull infatable boats, to kayaks and surfboards. In the future, they may be indistinguishable from any ordinary seagoing freighter or tanker. Background Unmanned maritime systems include: • unmanned underwater vehicles, covering everything from remotely operated vehicles to gliders to autono- mous vehicles; 1 • unmanned surface vehicles, including surface craft and semi-submersibles. The Age of Unmanned Shipping New opportunities and regulatory considerations. by Mr. GeorGe detWeiler Marine Transportation Specialist Navigation Standards Division U.S. Coast Guard rAnd d. leBouvier, ph.d . Strategic Communications Director Government and Regulatory Affairs Bluefn Robotics Corporation Technology It is 2035, and in the home office of Likeable Lines, Captain Johnson observes hundreds of ships from his console. He knows that individual skippers, mates, engineers, and deck officers monitor each ship at a more detailed level from the comfort of their homes. Though these ships have no crew aboard at this moment, Captain Johnson knows that, as each ship approaches its destination, a pilot and a more traditional crew will meet it at the sea buoy to board for the final leg through the harbor traffic to its berth. He remembers when only a ship's crew could handle their vessel. Crews would remain aboard for months at a time, with interminable periods of boredom between ports. Now, it's routine that a crew might embark on dozens of ships each day, without ever leaving homeport, and there are many such crews working to handle the increased traffic. In fact, the merchant marine and the U.S. shipping industry is at a level that it had not experienced since the end of World War II, and is still on the upswing. Ceasar / iStock / Thinkstock

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