Three of the leading influencers in the international maritime sector have joined One Sea, the industry alliance that brings together leading exponents of autonomous ship technology.
Global satellite group Inmarsat and NYK Group research subsidiary MTI (Monohakobi Technology Institute) have joined One Sea as full members, while the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to become a One Sea associate member.
“We are delighted to welcome the largest global provider of ship-to-shore connectivity, the R&D arm of one of the largest shipowners in the world and the industry’s leading professional body for naval architects as members,” said Päivi Haikkola, One Sea Lead.
One Sea members ABB, Kongsberg Maritime and Wärtsilä ran separate autonomous ship trials off the Finnish and Norwegian coasts at the end of 2018. Finnish regulators have authorized One Sea to oversee future trials in Jaakonmeri off western Finland - the first dedicated test zone worldwide.
“Members have complete freedom to innovate and develop their own cost-efficient autonomous ship solutions inside an alliance which is nonetheless committed to harmonizing technical standards,” said Haikkola. “Our expectation is that, as member numbers grow, operating solutions will multiply but members will also work towards integration.” The new members would bring different perspectives and insights to the One Sea ecosystem, she added.
NYK and its Group companies MTI Co., Ltd. and Japan Marine Science Inc. (JMS) have already been working with nautical instrument manufacturers to develop highly automated ship navigation technologies, with a tugboat test for NYK company Wing Maritime Service Corporation scheduled for H2 2019. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) envisages autonomous ships operating in Japan by 2025. One Sea has also set 2025 as its target for an autonomous shipping infrastructure, including a full set of safety rules and technology standards.
Inmarsat VP Business Development, Stefano Poli, commented: “Inmarsat is joining One Sea in recognition of the special value it sees in initiatives that adopt a targeted and goal-based approach to autonomous shipping and its beneficial technologies. One Sea is emerging as a strong voice on interoperability and standards that the wider industry is listening to. As Inmarsat continues to roll out the high-speed maritime broadband service that will enable and protect shipping’s digital future, it is critical we support the alliances enabling integration.”
Haikkola said that the full research program being developed by One Sea continued to expand, with its most recent initiative focusing on autonomous ship piloting arrangements between ports and ships. “As an area where public and private interests converge, One Sea can play a special role in the different strands of research, funding, test coordination and results dissemination,” she said.
She added that One Sea was ”honoured” to sign the MoU with RINA covering associate member status. “We look forward to working with RINA and to the opportunity of drawing on the unique knowledgebase represented by its membership.”