The future role of seafarers within fully autonomous shipping: the perspective of Australian seafarers
Sharp, G and Fanam, PD, The future role of seafarers within fully autonomous shipping: the perspective of Australian seafarers, Proceedings on the 2018 International Congress on Banking, Economics, Finance, and Business, 17-19 December 2018, Sydney, pp. 1-18. ISSN 2412-4044 (2018) [Refereed Conference Paper]
With companies such as Rolls-Royce and Kongsberg at the forefront of autonomous ship technology development, fully autonomous shipping has become an increasingly hot topic, ultimately leading the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to take steps to develop regulatory framework at its 99th committee meeting in May 2018. Information on the challenges presented by fully autonomous shipping have been disseminated through a number of publicly available media outlets, however, material presented is often biased and/or related to the numerous identified technological challenges facing fully autonomous shipping. Research into fully autonomous shipping has uncovered potential positive benefits and expected outcomes for shipping companies that will likely support their implementation within the coming years. These benefits are largely derived from the elimination of the human element, which could lead to reduced crew costs and omission of crew accommodation. However, even though these may provide economic relief for shipping companies, the economic and social impact on the seafarers and their seagoing careers remains unclear, providing seafarers with little reassurance regarding their future job security. This paper looks at the question of what fully autonomous shipping means for the jobs, skill sets and future seagoing roles of Australian seafarers. A survey questionnaire was conducted amongst Australian seafarers and knowledge gained through these survey questionnaires forms an indication of the general view of the broader Australian seafaring community as to what they envisage for their future roles, if any, in the anticipated future of fully autonomous shipping.
Refereed Conference Paper
Australian seafarers, autonomous shipping, seagoing career