Addressing the Accidental Risks of Maritime Transportation: Could Autonomous Shipping Technology Improve the Statistics?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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A paradigm shift is presently underway in the shipping industry promising safer, greener and more efficient ship traffic. In this article, we will look at some of the accidents from conventional shipping and see if they could have been avoided with autonomous ship technology. A hypothesis of increased safety is often brought forward, and we know from various studies that the number of maritime accidents that involves what is called “human error” ranges from some 60-90 percent. If we replace the human with automation, can we then reduce the number of accidents? On the other hand, is there a possibility for new types of accidents to appear? What about the accidents that are today averted by the crew? This paper will present a method to assess these different aspects of the risk scenarios in light of the specific capabilities and constraints of autonomous ships.