Singapore-registered Global United Gas Carriers vessel Trammo Dietlin has become the first ship in the world to carry Lloyd’s Register’s cyber AL-SAFE notation that certifies the safety of onboard autonomous systems.
Built by Hanjin Heavy Industries in collaboration with Alpha Ori Technology, which supplied the SMARTShip autonomous control system, Trammo Dietlin is arguably the first major example of the digital transformation in shipping—and the first example of a ship certified to stream data into a Big Data platform.
SMARTShip is an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that enables the onboard operation of several systems with varying degrees of autonomy. It does this by gathering thousands of data points from various vessel systems and feeding the data into a powerful onboard server that analyzes the information and enables decision support for the crew.
“AL-SAFE means ‘autonomy level safe’.”
“The aim is to minimize human error and make ship systems safe and more efficient when running in autonomous mode. Lloyd’s Register (LR) provided independent assurance services to the shipowner.”
Speaking to NauticExpo e-magazine, LR spokesperson Paul Carrett explained: “AL-SAFE means ‘autonomy level safe’. There are grades of AL-SAFE, recently updated in ShipRight, our design assessment tool, with more of a focus on levels of remote access granted to a system.”
“The aim is to minimize human error and make ship systems safe and more efficient.”
Concerning the risk of cyber attack, he reckoned that the hardware and software that control processes, systems and equipment can be vulnerable to cyber attacks but increased connectivity should not mean that a vessel is less safe.
“Across the marine industry, there’s still huge variation in awareness levels of, and preparedness for the increasing role of cyber technologies. Understanding the level of cyber security readiness is the essential first step to identifying, mitigating and managing the risk.”
For Carrett, other shipowners are interested in AL-SAFE. “From this point, the degree of autonomy on cyber-enabled ships will only grow, comprising more and more functions and reaching higher and higher levels. One possibility is that certain ports will have dedicated quays for autonomous ships. It’s also possible that we could define sea lanes or trade lanes at sea for autonomous traffic within certain controlled waters.”