MUNIN Stakeholder Survey




“Civilian operations using unmanned aircraft are coming. Driverless cars are clocking up thousands of test miles. So why not let remote-controlled ships set sail without a crew?”

The Economist


The research project MUNIN works on a future concept for a fully or partially unmanned merchant vessel.


An autonomous ship in the MUNIN concept is not designed for an unmanned voyage from berth to berth, but for unmanned deep sea transport. Approaching and berthing is still done by a conventional crew on board. Further, during deep sea voyage the vessel is constantly monitored by mariners ashore in a shore control center, which, in case of an emergency, can interact with the vessel at all times, thus ensuring a safe and efficient voyage.


MUNIN´s vision of an autonomous ship builds on innovative technology deployed on board and ashore:


    1. The autonomous ship will be equipped with advanced sensor systems to detect and avoid obstacles reliably. A positioning and navigation system allows determining and controlling exact location, speed and course as well as route. It determines COLREG-obligations between ships and conducts compliant collision avoidance manoeuvres while also operating the ship safely in harsh weather conditions.
    2. The engine is equipped with an advanced onboard control system which operates the vessel and its equipment. In combination with an indicator based maintenance interaction system the engine can operate reliably for one voyage without physical interference from a person in the engine room.
    3. In a shore-side control center qualified personnel monitors the autonomously operating vessels. In case of unintended and unforeseen events the shore control center has the capability to assist or even remotely operate the ship.
    4. Reliable communication links and a robust communication architecture ensure that onshore and offshore components are appropriately connected. 


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