Hiding from sight: Autonomous Ships


Where autonomous or self-driving cars make headlines and get a lot of attention, the shipping industry is making waves a lot faster. Ships are also prone to similar human error rates (70-90%) like car accidents, but a lot of time a ship is not in a similarly chaotic environment such as a car in a dense urban environment.

"Picture this: It’s a stormy night in the middle of July and a 500-foot long cargo ship charges east through the Atlantic Ocean. There’s nothing unusual about the ship at first glance. The cylindrical vessel sports a futuristic design like a surfaced submarine, it’s sleek hull sculpted to slice through waves with ease. But step on board and things are out of the ordinary. The bridge is gone. The living quarters have been removed. There’s not a human crewmember in sight." - Autonomous ships are coming, and we’re not ready for them


With the projects and pilots mentioned in the Digital Trends article, I think we will have fully autonomous ships at a large scale than cars. This and the closely related electrification of ships have the potential to make the shipping industry much safer and sustainable at the same time.