LR Joins Collision Avoidance Research for Autonomous Ships

British classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) is taking part in the MAXCMAS project, a GBP 1.27 million (USD 1.55 million) collaborative research project that aims to investigate, develop and implement real-time collision avoidance algorithms for autonomous maritime vessels.

The Machine executable collision regulations for Marine Autonomous systems (MAXCMAS) project, scheduled to be completed next year, is being undertaken by Rolls Royce as project lead, LR, Atlas Elektronik UK, Queen’s University Belfast and Southampton Solent University’s Warsash Maritime Academy.

The project aims to develop International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGs) compliant collision avoidance navigation for autonomous ships and other Unmanned Surface Vessels (USVs).

The project also hopes to carry out comprehensive machine execution of the COLREGs and demonstrate these in part in real-world representative sea trials.

“The activities are aimed at identifying the challenges and solutions to assuring the safe implementation of the COLREGs principles and reducing the risk of operating autonomous vessels,” Jesus Mediavilla Varas, Strategic Research Lab Lead Specialist, said.

“The maritime industry is moving towards smarter and more autonomous vessels, and involvement in research projects like MAXCMAS allows us to better understand the technological risks and control measures associated with greater autonomy and to be equipped to provide assurance to our clients when the technology is ready,” Varas added.

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