Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

"Rolls Royce developing drone ships"

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • "Rolls Royce developing drone ships"

    Rolls Royce have started testing "drone ships", capable of sailing without crew - or atleast, very few crew.

    http://gcaptain.com/rolls-royce-test...ne-cargo-ship/
    Pointy bit is the front, blunt bit is the back... Simples!

    Will work for money/sea time.

  • #2
    yes there was an article in Nautilus about a few studies that are going on into the same thing not sure what will happen when something breaks down. But from the deck side it doesn't take a huge amount of bandwidth to transmit all the nav, radar data ashore if you really wanted to
    you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

    Comment


    • #3
      Was looking into something like this a while back. Interesting to see a big player is working on it too...

      (I'm still looking into Robotic on board applications....)
      I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

      All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd be surprised if this came to fruition during my working life. The technical side is the easy bit in my opinion, the global nature of the industry is going to be a nightmare to negotiate.
        However, I wouldn't be totally surprised to see some sort of hybrid situation come more quickly - crew onboard from berth to beginning of 'deep sea', drone passage across atlantic say, rejoin in Western Approaches and pop into Southampton or wherever and go home.
        Then again, its hard enough getting work as it is ....

        Comment


        • #5
          Nothing will come of this for a long, long time...too many variables, they have been talking about coming down to one pilot in aircraft for how long? - they have already paired down crews to the bone - all of this sort of assumes that the crew basically sit onboard and do nothing for sea passages. If only that were true!
          Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

          Comment


          • #6
            Who does the greasing/painting/navlight changing? What happens when it malfunctions? Who rigs the ladder to get the pilot and mooring team on board? What on earth makes anyone think that sending a 100,000 tonnes of ship out into the ocean without a competent crew is a good idea?????????

            *Breathes*

            I mean, seriously? WTF?

            Size4riggerboots

            Moderator
            Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

            Comment


            • #7
              Greasing/painting/etc are small fry considering the costs savings mentioned. If they can automate an entire ship they can automate a lot of the minor tasks with no difficulty at all. The only reason they haven't done the simple stuff yet is they need to keep us all busy, there is no cost saving in automating things when minimum manning has an AB or 2/O standing about doing nothing otherwise. If ship owners could convince flag states ships could be safely run with less people, the automation would come flooding in. It's already allowed UMS engine rooms, reduced watchkeeping on deck etc...

              If they're saving over $3K per day per ship (which seems crazy low), they can afford to have another couple kicking about and just have extended dry docks/maint periods etc...

              Cargo ships are very different to aircraft in peoples minds, foolishly. For one, nobody cares (bar a tiny few, us,) for cargo ship safety in comparison to pax vessels/aircraft safety, and on an aircraft, there is that overwhelming possibility of falling out of the sky, which people rate more highly than a ship drifting aimlessly (right until it runs up their beach that is). Coming down to one pilot seems unlikely as it is a single point of failure. As they are talking about machine automation here, to their minds its an easy fix, just build two.

              And let us be honest, there are already 100,000t ships tootling about the place without a competent crew. The list of accidents caused by human error is long and distinguished, and we only have ourselves to blame if we are phased out and replaced with more 'reliable' machines.

              ps. I don't think this is a good idea particularly, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the situation I described above, or even more likely, this cutting edge project filtering down to regular ships, meaning more automation and less crew. We're already at 13 on an E Class, which we all know is at, or more likely hovering just below, bare minimum, so I won't be at all shocked when the first L-Class (or whatever) slides out of the yard with duplicate ER installations, a UMS bridge, an all-singing, all-dancing firefighting installation, a thousand other gadgets, and a minimum manning of 3: Master (someone still needs to get the blame), ETO, C/E.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by condeh View Post


                And let us be honest, there are already 100,000t ships tootling about the place without a competent crew. The list of accidents caused by human error is long and distinguished, and we only have ourselves to blame if we are phased out and replaced with more 'reliable' machines.
                True. (As soon as I'd written that statement I knew it was full of holes!) Still... if we have crew onboard then we have accountability, going down to just 3 crew would leave you in an unmanageable situation if/when the sh1t hit the fan. Can they really build a ship that runs itself, not just for the day to day stuff, but when the thingy valve gets stuck and the filters in the fuel system get clogged and the weather's throwing cr@p at you from 3 different directions, making small objects impossible to spot on the radar and a belt drive in the ventilation goes and starts smouldering and the gps goes down and whatever else can go wrong does so... 3 people might be able to deal with it for a short period of time but how long until they get so knackered that they make things worse? Yes there are some SCARILY incompetent people out there driving ships around, but I'd still rather have a person on the bridge who can be made to account for their actions, rather than a tech supervisor overseeing things from hundreds of miles away on a satellite feed.

                Size4riggerboots

                Moderator
                Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just don't see it making much financial sense, which is the main reason it won't happen.

                  Imagine the huge costs involved in:

                  1. Automating EVERYTHING - (ballast, GMDSS, ER, Bridge etc) - and making EVERYTHING remote operational
                  2. Putting off maintenance
                  3. Setting up control centers
                  4. The increased insurance cost

                  Not to mention the other issues associated with not having a crew:

                  1. Response to emergencies
                  2. Who represents the owners in foreign ports?
                  3. Even if one flag state agrees to it, how do you deal with countries who do not agree to automated ships (this happened with nuclear ships a few decades ago)
                  4. What happens if you lose 'connection' and your 100,000 ton ship is floating about and you have to go and rescue it? - can it be 'salvaged' by a crewed ship just sailing by etc.

                  With regard to aviation the argument saying that removing the second pilot results in a 'single point of failure' is not well thought out because it assumes that you need a pilot to fly the plane. If the plane is automated, then you don't need a pilot at all - the single pilot is only there if something goes wrong with the computer.

                  Honestly I could write a dissertation on why this is stupid theory and Rolls Royce are just trying to drum up some publicity by even looking at it.
                  Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A few sentences that jumped out at me when reading the article...

                    The company’s schematics show vessels loaded with containers from front to back, without the bridge structure where the crew lives. By replacing the bridge — along with the other systems that support the crew, such as electricity, air conditioning, water and sewage — with more cargo, ships can cut costs and boost revenue, Levander said. The ships would be 5 percent lighter before loading cargo and would burn 12 percent to 15 percent less fuel, he said.
                    So.. no crew, at all? No accommodation, no bridge to drive the ship from if you had to make over manually?

                    The potential savings don’t justify the investments that would be needed to make unmanned ships safe, said Tor Svensen, chief executive officer of maritime for DNV GL, the largest company certifying vessels for safety standards.
                    As HolyNougat has put so well already

                    Drone ships would become vulnerable to a different kind of hijacking: from computer hackers. While the technology may never be fully secure, it needs to be so difficult to break that it’s not worth the effort, according to Levander.
                    So you don't think there will be some bored hacker kids out there that would love a challenge like that?


                    Unmanned ships would still require captains to operate them remotely and people to repair and unload them in port. These workers would have better quality of life compared with working at sea, Levander said.
                    So how do you learn to be a "captain"? That's still a lot of people out of work if all we need is the captains, and if you're not working how can you learn and get moved up the rank structure? As for the concept of quality of life being better working ashore, well I for one wanted to work AT SEA!

                    Size4riggerboots

                    Moderator
                    Blog tWitterings Flickr Tumblr Faceache

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Once they develop the 100% leakproof fuel line. Vibration resistant nuts and bolts. Crashproof software. And all tge other little things.....that go wrong then they might get somewhere.

                      Even an exhaust leak will become more deadly to the maintenence team as the er will be unventilated and require testing gas freeing etc prior to work. As RR still cant even make crashless software think it will be a good while yet
                      Trust me I'm a Chief.

                      Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
                      Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
                      No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


                      Twitter:- @DeeChief

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry, I perhaps should have been clearer regarding the single point of failure. I meant it in terms of perception - having only one pilot makes a lot of people uncomfortable as it seems like there is a single point of failure.
                        Ultimately a lot of people are ignorant of the actual role of the pilot on an aircraft, or the crew on a ship.

                        I missed the mention of an in improved quality of life... If they just spend a bit of all this cash on improving facilities onboard they may well find productivity shoots up. Just a thought.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've worked with Rolls Royce equipment extensively and it's far from reliable (hardware) or crash proof (software) so they should probably sort that out before planning a drone ship! - I also have it in for drones after my 700 pound quadcopter with GO-PRO decided to fly out to sea never to be seen again... grrrr.
                          Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Aviation drones don't have the best track record. This is technology is so far from reality it will take decades for the, to get anywhere close to something that works, and they getting countries to accept it?
                            In the military, it's slightly different.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HolyNougat View Post
                              I just don't see it making much financial sense, which is the main reason it won't happen.

                              Imagine the huge costs involved in:

                              1. Automating EVERYTHING - (ballast, GMDSS, ER, Bridge etc) - and making EVERYTHING remote operational
                              2. Putting off maintenance
                              3. Setting up control centers
                              4. The increased insurance cost

                              Not to mention the other issues associated with not having a crew:

                              1. Response to emergencies
                              2. Who represents the owners in foreign ports?
                              Ballast is already remote operational, sure it may not work all the time but most ships its a clicky mouse thing not a walk about opening valves by hand, so it can be done from anywhere already, GMDSS no need if there's no one on the ship there's no point listening to the radio but again distress calls could be transferred (they go into a VDR already) so that you maintain the coverage area. a bridge and engine room are already hugely automated but they rely on telling someone to do something rather than making the change themselves (who uses trial manoeuvres on a radar before making a course change?)
                              maintenance would be a bigger one but then the cost savings would probably outway it.
                              and a control center wouldn't have any real cost, certainly not if you think of having a captain looking after ten ship and then OOW watching the dedicated screens for each. pay becomes less as well.

                              how you get on etc is harder and yes a true failure would leave a lot of money floating around, but if someone really wants to do it they can it may not be a good idea and it certainly wont be popular with the peoples whos jobs are being lost but if it works and costs less
                              you can take it with a pinch of salt, but i prefer it with a nip of whisky

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X