20 Dec '17 Control or support
There is a trend in the maritime industries to conflate data with autonomy and support with control.
While research to build up autonomy requires data, and algorithms to understand the data, information itself does not mean autonomous systems. Likewise, support systems are needed for anyone who has control of a vessel, but these support systems do not mean control is being taken off the vessel and moved ashore.
Ship managers are keen to avoid talking about shore-based control centres. They prefer to have support centres that are helping vessel-based crews with their work load. Managers recognise the benefit of advanced support systems that build on the ability to give ship officers the confidence to make the right decisions to improve vessel and voyage efficiency.
Efficiency awareness of the crew is happening faster than autonomous ships. Access to the right data and the right insight about the data when it is needed is therefore critical.
Training of shipboard staff remains a critical part of this puzzle. Training increasingly revolves around the increased connectivity now available, and therefore the decision-making support that can be identified. A growing number of ship managers have streamlined ship-board procedures and checklists, removing unnecessary and overly complicated instructions, being now in favour of putting the right information at the crews’ finger tips to ensure they are making informed decisions.
Controlling crews will never lead to optimised vessels, but informed crews, with the support and information system around them, will.
Marorka gives stakeholders at all levels access to the right performance information at the right time to make the correct adjustments where needed resulting in improved performance, lower fuel and reduced operational cost.