When one tries to identify the few positive outcomes from the pandemic, one is certainly the pace with which digitalisation has been pushed forward in  recent months. Not only but particularly in the maritime business, the digital transformation is accelerating and has become more visible than before. The number of different approaches and applications in this field is impressive. They range from automated steering systems to digital port calls, intelligent  safety arrangements and forward-looking monitoring set-ups. Enough innovative and sophisticated developments to fill yet another issue of our SmartShip Special Edition. The great diversity is also reflected by the nine categories we have chosen this year. Most of the topics we are covering, however, combine several key areas of autonomy, digitalisation and smart operation. What might be different compared with previous issues is that crew matters – the human factor – have once again come into sharper focus. Without properly trained and healthy people on board, the best technology will not yield optimal results.

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