Wilhelmsen, Partners to Work on Developing Autonomous Shipping Operation

Norway flagIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license

Norway-based Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) has entered into two agreements that will set the tone for operational and regulatory framework in autonomous shipping.

The first agreement focuses on the development of a safety management system (SMS), while the second is for the development of future competence.

Under the safety management system agreement signed with DNV GL and Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA), the parties will collaborate to support WSM’s ambition to develop SMS for operating autonomous, remotely controlled and remotely supported vessels.

Additionally, the competence agreement with DNV GL and University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) was entered to develop competence solutions required in a shore control center to manage and operate autonomous, remotely controlled and remotely supported vessels.

“This is an exciting chapter for WSM as regulations governing autonomous shipping are still in their infancy (…) From a ship manager’s perspective, this will be a game changer in the way WSM operates today. As a pioneer in this field, our strategic alliance with DNV GL, NMA and USN is crucial to ensure a holistic development of the new, one of a kind document of compliance,” Carl Schou, President & CEO of WSM, commented.

The development will be spearheaded from the management center based in Lysaker, Norway.

“Digital solutions and developments on autonomy will enable the maritime industry to develop and implement measures for improved efficiency ashore and on board. The ability to utilize these opportunities with an effective management system, ensuring safety at the same or a higher level will be a game changer and we in DNV GL are aiming to be at the forefront of this work,” Marianne Valderhaug, Director of Operations in DNV GL, said.

“We have a strong belief that autonomous systems are the future and USN wish to take part in the journey towards realizing that future. Through this agreement of cooperation with the maritime sector [Wilhelmsen/DNV GL], we increase our commitment to another level in research on how such technology can be used in an efficient and safe manner,” Assistant Professor Tor Erik Jensen from USN added.

WSM expects to implement the SMS and obtain a certified document of compliance by the end of 2019.

Earlier this year, Wilhelmsen and Kongsberg joined forces to establish the world’s first autonomous shipping company. Named Massterly, the company is based in Lysaker, Norway.

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