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Port authorities collaborate on automated shipping developments

Eight port authorities from around the globe have established the MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships) Port Network (MPN) in Singapore, it was announced today, 6 August.

The port authorities from China, Korea, Japan, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Singapore and The Netherlands are collaborating to develop standards under which MASS will operate within a maritime area, and that will allow those vessels to effectively communicate with ports and other shore-based entities.

“This concerns detailed guidelines and conditions for tests in ports; defining international terminology; standards for ship reporting, traffic control, data exchange and facilitation of MASS tests between ports,” said the announcement.

Port of Rotterdam Authority, harbour master René de Vries added, “The port will revolve for many years around conventional shipping, but smart vessels and even autonomous vessels will be part of the shipping with destination Rotterdam. We want to be ready.

MASS will require smart vessels and they will need connected smart ports, which means both smart vessel traffic systems (VTS) and smart pilot services.

It is for this reason that Rotterdam has started researching and developing traffic control sensors and the application of artificial intelligence in risk prediction.

“We are also researching the effects of MASS on our port, VTS, people and skills. Collaboration is the key element in this. Both at home and abroad,” said the statement.

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