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Eight countries join forces in developing autonomous shipping



No fewer than eight countries including, China, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, and Singapore have launched a network to address the challenges and align standards for the trials, and operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) in ports.

MASSPorts, according to a report by Offshore Energy, aims to develop detailed guidelines and conditions for MASS trials in port, which are in line with International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO’s) interim guidelines for MASS trials.


The parties also agreed to establish common terminology, form and standards of communication, ship reporting, and data exchange to enhance interoperability of systems across different ports in order to ensure seamless operation.

The objective of the network is also to facilitate MASS trials to emulate the international nature of shipping and validate the proposed guidelines and conditions for MASS trials, and the interoperability of port-based systems. This allows the network to identify and address additional challenges of operating MASS at various ports.

Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Quah Ley Hoon, said: “Autonomous navigation is an important part of our plans to be a future-ready port. We see MASS having the potential to enhance navigational safety and increase productivity. We are glad to work with like-minded international partners who are aligned in shaping the future of the international shipping,”


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