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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number ES/W000393/1
Title Maritime autonomous shipping: A UK-Taiwan joint cooperation in integrating the regulatory framework
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Transport) 5%;
Not Energy Related 95%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 75%;
AREA STUDIES (Asian Studies) 5%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 20%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 50%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 50%;
Principal Investigator Dr C C Chang

School of Engineering
Liverpool John Moores University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 July 2021
End Date 31 December 2022
Duration 18 months
Total Grant Value £25,068
Industrial Sectors
Region North West
Programme International
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr C C Chang , School of Engineering, Liverpool John Moores University (99.995%)
  Other Investigator Dr C Kontovas , School of Engineering, Liverpool John Moores University (0.001%)
Professor Z Yang , School of Engineering, Liverpool John Moores University (0.001%)
Dr S Karamperidis , Plymouth Business School, University of Plymouth (0.001%)
Dr C Lin , UNLISTED, Feng Chia University (0.001%)
Professor S Ung , UNLISTED, National Taiwan Ocean University (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives This project aims to address the regulations that can be relevant to autonomous ships, referred to as 'Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships '(MASS).To achieve the aim, this project has the following main objectives:(1) To establish an international network of scholars focusing on the potential regulations for MASS. This can be achieved through building up a website for disseminating the information and discussion for interested maritime experts.(2) To identify relevant regulations for MASS and the issues of incorporating provisions for autonomous ships . This can be achieved through reviewing the relevant literature and especially the IMO regulations that can be applied to MASS.(3) Prioritise the regulations that need to be modified and provide insights on how these regulations can be modified to suit the ever-changing regulatory environment.This can be achieved through interviewing with UK and Taiwan maritime experts, including policymakers, shipping and port managers, and well-known scholars in this area.(4) To establish connection between LJMU, and in particular the Liverpool Logistics, Offshore and Marine Research Institute (LOOM), and the Taiwanese shipping industry and government agencies.(5) To foster a long term collaboration between LJMU and the National Taiwan Ocean University, in particular its Maritime Development and Training Centre (MDTC), which is the biggest maritime training centre in Taiwan. The grants obtained regarding research projects and seafarer training since 2018 are over NT$ 66.1m. Given the ample experience of MDTC in maritime and seafarer training, the project will definitely reach practical and useful research outcomes. Such a long term collaboration will certainly be beneficial for LJMU LOOM and NTOU MDTC.
Abstract International shipping is the life blood of the global economy as vessels carry more than 80% of world trade. The industry is regulated primarily by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) - a United Nations agency, which develops and maintains the framework of global maritime regulations related mainly to maritime safety and environmental protection.Much research has shown that human error contributes to 80-90% of shipping accidents directly or indirectly. In order to deal with the negative impacts from human error, Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) are an emerging solution and are attracting increasing attention in the maritime industry. MASS is defined by the IMO as "ships which, to a varying degree, can operate independently of human interaction". Apart from reducing human error, MASS also brings several advantages, such as enhancing safety and security, reducing operational costs, improving human resource management, and reducing pollution. There are a number of projects related to MASS design and development, in which Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks (MUNIN) is one of well-known EU project, which aims to develop an autonomous ship concept, by combining automated decision systems with remote control through a shore based station. In addition, Yara Birkeland, the world's first autonomous containership was delivered at the end of 2020.IMO is currently looking at the integration of autonomous ships in the regulatory framework on areas such as safety, collision regulations, training of seafarers and fishers, tonnage measurement and others. However, there are many challenges for the operations of autonomous ships, in which the issue of regulations development is one of the main challenges. Henrik Tunfors, Chair of the IMO MASS Working Group, stated that there will be no rules on MASS for at least ten years based on IMO process. These challenges can be barriers for the development of MASS and should be solved quickly.UK and Taiwan are at the frontend of relevant research, also on the regulatory aspect. Autonomous shipping is at the core of the UK Maritime 2050 strategy as "new technologies such as maritime autonomous systems can make the sector cleaner, safer and more efficient". In addition, the Maritime UK Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group (MASRWG) published the first code of practice to global industry-wide acclaim in November 2017. In Taiwan, the government also pays much attention to MASS and has enacted the so-called 'Unmanned Vehicles Technology Innovative Experimentation Act' in 2018 to encourage research and development, and the application of unmanned vehicle technology.This project aims at address this research topic by looking at the relevant international regulations, identifying gaps and proposes ways to remove the regulatory barriers. At the same time, we focus on fostering a strong collaboration between 4 UK and Taiwanese research institutions and also involving more stakeholders from both countries. To achieve the aim, this project will firstly establish an international network covering both the maritime industry and academia (in the UK and Taiwan) that focuses on the potential international regulations for autonomous shipping. Secondly, we will assess possible regulations for MASS through literature review of academic papers and the relevant legislation and expert opinion. Regulatory barriers will be identified and measure to remove them will be proposed. The results can provide useful insights for future research in this field and we also plan to inform decision-makers.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 28/10/21