The Houston, Texas-based rating company called the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) recently joined the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance. This group was recently launched in ShanghaiChina, who plan to have an unmanned vessel in the water by October 2021.

The design of this novel project will integrate features of independent decision making, autonomous navigation, environmental perception and remote control. “In the coming years we will see significant changes in the design and construction of ships, with a strong impetus to develop autonomous ships, especially in China,” said Eric Kleess, president of China’s ABS division. As a key member of the alliance, ABS is closely aligned with the industry for more sustainable maritime operations. ”

“Increased civilization, advanced technologies and new levels of connectivity are changing the way the maritime industry operates,” Kleess said. Technological advances are increasingly at the forefront of the needs of the industry and it is appropriate to use it in favor of the existing interests.

On the other hand, the Unmanned Cargo Ship Development Alliance is chaired by China HNA Technology Group Co., Ltd. It is made up of nine members including ABSCCSChina Boats Research and Development InstituteShanghai Marine Diesel Engine Research InstituteLtdHudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co., LtdMarine Design Research Institute of China (MARIC), Rolls-Royce, and Wärtsilä.

NHA Technology Group vice president Li Weijian said that this newly formed alliance is promoting new design innovations and naval operations, working to promote the safe adoption of these assets in the market, that being said, this alliance will apply the latest technologies for the development of a new concept of autonomous vessel.

The creation of autonomous and unmanned ships represents a great innovation in the maritime industry, which is why it is one of the many issues addressed at the Conference and Fair Smarter Ships 2017 held this past 11 and 12 September 2017 at the Hyatt Olive 8 in SeattleWA.

The conference was opened by Senior Vice President of ABS and Head Office of Technology, Howard Fireman. The conference was to focus on emerging markets, new business opportunities and the latest technologies. It was pointing at changing the way of doing business and the most outstanding topics were: Large data and remote monitoring, autonomous and unmanned ships, Robots, drones and AUVs, marine applications, hybrid propulsion technology.

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