Interaction Between Manned and Autonomous Ships: Automation Transparency
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) is on the research agenda of several countries. In Norway a 120 TEU autonomous container feeder is currently being built. Hopes are attached to safety as well as costs and efficiency benefits. The explicit assumption is that with no humans on the bridge “human error” will go away. However, the challenges will be found in the interaction between MASS and humans on the bridges of other, ships, both SOLAS and non-SOLAS vessels. An unanswered question is whether a MASS should explicitly signal being in “self-drive” mode or if it should be unmarked, just as any other COLREG following ship? This discussion paper argues for the first alternative. Arguments are also given for automation transparency, allowing other seafarers to “look into the mind” of the autonomous ship, to see if they are detected and what is the present intentions of the MASS.