LR: Commercial Ships of 2030 Will Be Smart, Green and Connected

The marine technology of 2030 will combine developments from multiple scientific disciplines in ways that could transform the design, construction and operation of commercial ships through the integration of people, software and hardware, according to the Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 report released by Lloyd’s Register (LR). 

The report, a collaborative project between Lloyd’s Register, QinetiQ and the University of Southampton, examines the transformative impact of 18 technologies on ship design, on naval power and on the use of ocean space, as the understanding of the world’s oceans is more essential than ever to secure the future of our planet, LR says.

These 18 technologies are robotics, sensors, big data analytics, propulsion and powering, advanced materials, smart ship, autonomous systems, advanced manufacturing, sustainable energy generation, shipbuilding, carbon capture and storage, energy management, cyber and electronic warfare, marine biotechnology, human–computer interaction, deep ocean mining, human augmentation, and communication.

Commercial Ships of 2030 Will Be Smart Green and Connected

The report identifies two groups of technology drivers – those that will transform the ship design and build space – leading to advancement in ship building, propulsion and powering and the development of smart ships; and the technologies that drive safety, commercial and operational performance – advanced materials, big data analytics, communications, sensors and robotics.

LR was the lead partner on the commercial shipping parts of the report and focused on eight technologies that will transform commercial shipping: robotics, sensors, big data analytics, propulsion and powering, advanced materials, smart ship, shipbuilding, and communication technologies.

The report presents TechnoMax scenarios for bulk carriers, tankers, containerships and gas carriers. The TechnoMax scenarios are not concept ships but give an indication of the potential maximum technology uptake relevant to the four ship market sectors.

TechnoMax ships will be smarter, data driven, greener, with flexible powering options, fully connected wirelessly onboard, and digitally connected through global satellites, according to the report.

TechnoMax ships will require fundamental changes in terms of design, construction, operation and supply chain management. They will be designed by technologically advanced shipbuilders, ordered and operated by owners to sharpen their competitiveness and boost their corporate social responsibility credentials, the report says.

Tom Boardley, LR’s Marine Director, said: “Shipping is likely to evolve quickly now. That evolution is likely to be uneven but while 2030 is not far away, we think that shipping is likely to have changed significantly.”

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