With autonomous ships expected to enter service soon, Lloyd’s Register has issued a new ShipRight procedure which places these vessels in six different categories based on levels of their autonomy.
Earlier this summer, the UK-based engineering company Rolls-Royce said it was to design and develop a remotely controlled and autonomous ship as early as 2020 under the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) project.
The Lloyd’s Register guidance describes autonomy levels (AL) ranging from ‘AL 1’ to ‘AL 6’ denoting a fully autonomous ship with no access required during a voyage.
“The levels provide a procedure to address the safety and practical issues required to meet classification, regulatory and market drivers,” said Luis Benito, Lloyd’s Register’s Head of Innovation Strategy & Research.
“The ‘AL’ system provides clarity to designers, shipbuilders, equipment manufacturers, ship owners and operators, enabling accurate specification of the desired level of autonomy in design and operations and paves the way to a clearer understanding of the investment opportunity/risk equation.”