Under the auspices of the Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) Port Network, established in Singapore, port authorities from China, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Singapore and Rotterdam are to collaborate on the drawing up of standards enabling effective communication between autonomous ships and shore.
The port partners will focus on detailed guidelines and conditions for tests in ports; defining international terminology; and standards for ship reporting, traffic control, data exchange and facilitation of MASS tests between ports.
René de Vries, harbour master at the Port of Rotterdam, stressed the importance of preparing for smart and even autonomous vessels as well as conventional ships. “We want to be ready,” he declared. “Smart vessels need smart ports. And a smart port in the context of shipping means both smart vessel traffic services and smart pilot services,” de Vries continued. “That is why we started researching and developing not only our traffic control, sensors, but also the application of artificial intelligence in risk prediction. We are also researching the effects of MASS on our port, VTS, people and skills. Collaboration is the key element in this. Both at home and abroad.”