Humans Bigger Cyber Security Risk than Unmanned Ships

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11-21-2017 - THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE

A new industry survey highlights industry concern about the cyber security and legal uncertainty surrounding unmanned ships, but the human element associated with cyber security could be a greater concern, says the survey organizers.

Almost two thirds of global marine industry executives believe there is uncertainty surrounding liability issues relating to unmanned ships should a vessel be involved in an incident as a result of a cyber-attack, according to the report from global law firm Clyde & Co and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST).

The survey of 220 marine industry executives from across the world also found that there is a lack of clarity around collisions involving unmanned ships, with 59 percent of survey respondents agreeing there is confusion surrounding the regulations in this area.

Current international shipping law states that vessels must be properly crewed, which means that unmanned ships are not presently permitted to enter international waters. However, the IMO announced in June of this year that it would begin to consider updating SOLAS to allow cargo ships with no captain or crew to travel between countries. The Comité Maritime International (CMI) has also established a Working Group on “Maritime law for unmanned craft” to consider how international conventions and regulations can be adapted to provide for the operation of unmanned vessels on the high seas.  CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE