ClassNK has released its new guidelines, which feature the basic elements of concept design safety for automated ship operations.

The new Guidelines for Concept Design of Automated Operation / Autonomous Operation of ships aim to address the safety elements that should be considered in the concept design of automated ship operation systems.

Currently available in a ‘provisional version’, the guidelines are expected to help different entities develop different autonomous ship design concepts.

ClassNK intends to finalise the ‘provisional version’ through proper review and revision after being applied for a certain period of time.

The company also aims to develop additional guidelines for various stages on the automated operation of ships, starting from development of design to actual operation.

“These efforts aim to improve navigation safety, working conditions on-board, and ship operation.”

According to ClassNK, research and development on automated driving systems is currently being conducted across the globe.

The maritime sector has also initiated a number of efforts to develop automated operation systems for ships. These efforts aim to improve navigation safety, working conditions on-board, and ship operation.

The industry is also expected to develop automated operation systems in phases for merchant ships to support their crew members, except in some cases.

ClassNK said in a statement: “As the on-board operations and duties performed by ships’ crews vary widely, design developments for automated ship operation are expected to be carried out under various conditions and concepts.

“It is essential to clarify the targeted operations/duties that would be automated, distinguish the division of roles between the crew (humans) and the automated operation systems (machines), and establish common understanding between everyone involved in the operation of the ship.”