Autonomous ships - what does the forseeable future hold?

The Old Library, Lloyd's
Wednesday, 06 December 2017
1:15 pm – 2:00 pm (UK time)
    • Edward Fort, Global Head of Engineering, Marine & Offshore, Lloyd's Register
  • Marine & Energy

In this IIL marine & energy lecture Edward Fort talked about the technical issues associated with the move towards autonomous ships that the insurance industry should be aware of.

Edward explained that autonomous vehicles were already established in many applications with every expectation that the world around us was set to become autonomous. In his lecture, Edward asked what do we mean by autonomy and what does this mean for shipping both in the near future and in the longer term. Total automation was not a foregone conclusion. The design of modern ship's with their complex, highly integrated, software controlled systems still assume the presence of a crew on board capable of assuming control in the event of the unexpected and perhaps surprisingly much of the expected. While autonomy represents a solution to a number of major challenges the industry is facing, unsurprisingly it also brings several challenges of its own.

By the end of this lecture members would have gained an insight into:

  • Understanding what autonomy means for ships and shipping
  • Understanding what new risks autonomy will introduce
  • Appreciating potential benefits that autonomy may provide

Speaker Bio:
Edward Fort is currently Global Head of Engineering, Marine & Offshore at Lloyd's Register. He has almost 40 years engineering experience across sectors as diverse as marine and aerospace.
He began his career in 1978 as a Marine Engineer with Mobil Shipping serving on product carriers and VLCC's in the company fleet.
On coming ashore in the mid-1980's he took up a position in the Power Generation and Energy Storage department the European Space Agency's Research & Development Centre in the Netherlands (ESTEC). On returning to the UK in 1998 he joined Lloyd's Register as an Engineering Surveyor in the Marine Engineering Division.
Following sabbaticals in industry with Fuel Cell manufacturers Zetec power and LNG Consulting Engineers Wavespec he returned to Lloyd's Register in 2003 taking on roles in the Research & Development and Product Development departments before taking up his current position.

Peter Townsend, Head of Marine, AmTrust.

  • The Old Library, Lloyd's
  • One Lime Street
  • London
  • EC3M 7HA
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