Marine Link
Thursday, November 23, 2017

How Safe are Robotic and Autonomous Systems in Maritime?

November 9, 2017

Image: © Sarah Holmlund / Adobe Stock

Image: © Sarah Holmlund / Adobe Stock

LR Foundation, University of York announce $16m partnership 

As robotics and autonomy gain inroads into various maritime and logisitics sectors, Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the University of York announced a $16m patnership to examine the safety of robotics and autonomous systems (RAS). 
 
RAS are likely to become pervasive, including driverless cars, the use of autonomous systems in hospitals and the maritime sector (for shipping and oil and gas platforms), and the use of robots in manufacturing and food supply chains.
 
A 2016 report from the International Federation of Robotics revealed that the number of industrial robots deployed worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019. That’s about one million units more than in the record-breaking year of 2015. There is an urgent need to work with industry, regulators and research teams around the world to address key challenges in assuring safety and compliance with standards and regulations.
 
In 2016, a Lloyd’s Register Foundation Foresight review of robotics and autonomous systems identified that one of the biggest obstacles to gaining the benefits of RAS was that of assuring and regulating RAS, in particular safety. 
 
The £12m investment announced today will fund the Assuring Autonomy International Programme (AAIP) based at the University of York. Professor John McDermid, who is a world leader in systems and software safety engineering, will lead the program.
 
"The next generation of robotics and autonomous systems holds significant promise and opportunity for commerce and society as a whole," said Professor McDermid.
 
"But it is essential for all of us that the systems are dependable and safe. The University of York is leading this program, focusing on assurance of RAS so that the benefits can be realised, without unacceptable risk. The program will build on York’s 30 years of pioneering research and training in this sector."
 
Professor Richard Clegg, Foundation Chief Executive, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, added: "Robotics and autonomous systems are going to make a big impact on the sectors we serve as a charity and key to uptake and application is going to be their assurance of safety and regulation. That is why establishing this programme with York is so important towards our purpose of working together for a safer world."
Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2017 - The Workboat Edition

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