ABS points towards the future

Dec 08 2017

ABS executive vice president for global marine, Dr Kirsi Tikka, has outlined the benefits that will come during interim phases of the marine industry’s voyage to autonomous shipping.

She was speaking at the 2017 Marintec China conference in Shanghai, China, at which she chaired a panel session on the marine industry’s journey to autonomy and the collective benefits realised along the way.


“With fast-paced advances in technology, we are on a journey to autonomous transportation at sea,” Tikka said. “For the shipping industry, at sea and ashore, it will be a gradual process of evolution.”


“The transition to the next generation of shipping is fuelled by automation, data and connectivity. Ultimately, success will rely on an iterative process that requires designing, building and testing interim outcomes. The industry will increasingly apply a systems engineering-based approach to build in robustness and reliability into the design.


“This process can increase the reliability of navigation, propulsion, auxiliaries, and communication – all of which will contribute to improving safety and efficiency. If implemented correctly, evolutionary development will introduce significant benefits to shipping at each phase, before we reach autonomy on a larger scale,” she said.


Tikka also went on to discuss how a new talent profile with different skills will be necessary, as the industry moves to autonomy. “While we transition to further autonomy, increased automation and connectivity will change how the crews interact with ship systems and shore-based support. Managing significant change, in an industry where changes are adopted slowly, requires innovative thinking and a diverse blend of education and experience.”


She concluded, “The role of class, with its strong focus on safety, is a fundamental component in the path toward smart shipping. With increases in automation and digitisation, confidence in quality, reliability and cyber security will be key to ushering in a new era of smart shipping.”


In another move, ABS has switched Howard Fireman, previously the CTO, to the role of chief digital officer (CDO).


He will lead a global team of experts in the fields of data analytics, innovative inspection technologies, mobile technologies and cyber security, as well as continuing to drive the development of software, including ABS Nautical Systems products and solutions.


In addition, Joseph (Joe) Gollapalli has joined ABS as vice president, digital technology. Previously, Gollapalli was the CIO and digital transformation leader for the drilling division of GE Oil & Gas.


Furthermore, joining ABS as vice president, strategic development is Ryan Moody. Reporting to the Chairman, President and CEO, Moody is working closely with the executive leadership team regarding strategic activities in support of ABS’ business goals and objectives.


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Sept 2018

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