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Autonomous technology taking to the seas

Friday 27 September 2019
Autonomous and remotely-operated vessel regulation is several steps closer to becoming a reality following last week's Australian Autonomous Vessel Forum in Canberra.
Photo of Autonomous vessel forum speakers and delegates

Hosted by AMSA, in partnership with the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS DCRC), the two-day event saw 135 delegates from the technology, design, science, law and defence sectors, sit shoulder-to-shoulder with government regulators at the first event of its kind in Australia.

Captain Marko Rahikainen from the Finnish Transport and Communication Agency travelled from Helsinki to deliver the keynote address.

To set the scene for the forum, Captain Rahikainen highlighted the vast steps Finland is taking to deliver a wholly sustainable transport system by 2030, with new technologies and automation central to its implementation.

AMSA and the TAS DCRC welcomed more than 20 expert presenters from Australian industry, government, New Zealand and as far away as Finland, who shared their knowledge of this exciting and rapidly-developing maritime sector.

AMSA CEO Michael Kinley and TAS-DCRC CEO Professor Jason Scholz signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to work together to build trust and assurance in maritime automation.

There were also regular sightings of two autonomous vessels, the OCIUS Bluebottles, navigating Lake Burley Griffin during the forum.

One of the highlights of the forum was a collaboration session, which provided the unique mix of delegates an opportunity to discuss and develop conceptual solutions to wide-ranging scenarios involving autonomous vessels.

AMSA's General Manager Standards, Brad Groves, said the forum gave leaders in autonomous technology the opportunity to share their expertise in a dynamic think tank environment.

'You rarely get such high level expertise in the same room all at once, so we wanted to get the most out of their forward-thinking approach to automation and remote operation,' Mr Groves said. 

'The delegates at this forum are at the leading edge of developments in technology and automation in Australia's maritime industry, and their input to the collaboration session was invaluable.

'The forum provided an amazing opportunity to collaborate and seek input into the way the Australian industry is heading in the future.'

You can find out more about how AMSA is addressing autonomous and remotely-operated vessels.

Over the next few weeks, we will be providing a range of reference material on our website related to the use of these systems and technology in Australia's maritime industry.

Presentations were delivered by:

  • AMSA
  • Finnish Transport and Communication Agency Maritime New Zealand
  • ABB Marine & Ports
  • iXBlue
  • OCIUS Technology
  • NSW Ports
  • Royal Australian Navy
  • Guardian Geomatics
  • CSIRO Energy
  • Austal Ltd
  • Svitzer Australia
  • HamiltonJet
  • Woodside Energy
  • Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities & Regional Development
  • University of Queensland

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