In the future, autonomous ships may have a central role to play
in Denmark. A pre-analysis made by the Danish Technological
University (DTU) and the Danish Maritime Authority points to the
need to develop technological solutions.
As the entire transport sector vigorously strives to develop
autonomous solutions, many developments have come a long way,
especially for cars and trucks. The shipping industry too will
see more new autonomous technology solutions, just as drone
technology will become more widespread. The Danish Maritime
Authority has therefore cooperated with the DTU to consider the
development potential of autonomous ships in more detail.
"Blue Denmark must - just as the rest of the Danish business
sector - be frontrunners within technological developments.
Autonomous maritime solutions will increase productivity, make
logistics easier and enhance safety," said Brian Mikkelsen,
Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs.
"Now, we must ensure that the framework conditions are in place
so that no technical or regulatory barriers obstruct the
development. The work of the Danish Maritime Authority and the
DTU is important in this connection because it gives us a clear
idea of the direction of developments."
In cooperation with the DTU, the Danish Maritime Authority has
developed a pre-analysis that is intended as an inspiration for
possible projects that may support the development of autonomous
The next step is continued cooperation between the DTU and the
Danish Maritime Authority on an electronic lookout project.
Sensor technology opens up for new possibilities as regards
ships' design, arrangement and mode of operation and,
consequently, the project will, inter alia, concern testing,
safety, the handling of defects, etc.
Mikkelsen said, "I have asked the Danish Maritime Authority to
continue its dialogue with the industry and the users to clarify
whether there are projects that could be launched in the near
future in order to strengthen our knowledge in the area and help
put Denmark on the nautical charts in terms of autonomous
The pre-analysis focuses primarily on rather small types of ships
engaged in near-coastal voyages, such as small island ferries,
tugboats, barges, supply and service vessels for drilling
platforms and wind farms as well as autonomous surface vessels
for servicing underwater and drone units for offshore
In addition, the analysis points to several areas in which
development projects and pilot projects are to be made to help
get a safe platform for autonomous vessels at sea.