Autonomous shipping agreements for Wilhelmsen Ship Management

Haakon Lenz (left), Vice President for WSM Region Europe & Americas, and Carl Schou, President and CEO of WSM

Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) has announced that it has entered into new agreements with DNV GL, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) and the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) to work on the development of autonomous shipping technologies and regulatory frameworks.

A safety management system agreement has been reached with DNV GL and NMA, whereby the parties will collaborate to support WSM’s efforts to develop an efficient safety management system (SMS) for operating autonomous, remotely controlled and remotely supported vessels.

A separate competence agreement has also been agreed with DNV GL and USN to develop the systems required in a shore control centre to manage and operate these future ships.

“This is an exciting chapter for WSM as regulations governing autonomous shipping are still in their infancy and WSM will play a key role in shaping the future role of ship managers and the regulatory framework,” said Carl Schou, President and CEO of WSM.

“From a ship manager’s perspective, this will be a game changer in the way WSM operates today. As a pioneer in this field, our strategic alliance with DNV GL, NMA and USN is crucial to ensure a holistic development of the new, one of a kind document of compliance.”

The development will be spearheaded from the WSM management centre based in Lysaker, Norway.

“Efficiency in management and operation of shipping companies and vessels is high on the agenda in the industry and we in DNV GL will support our customers in making use of opportunities,” says Marianne Valderhaug, Director Of Operations at DNV GL.

“Digital solutions and developments on autonomy will enable the maritime industry to develop and implement measures for improved efficiency ashore and on board. The ability to utilize these opportunities with an effective management system, ensuring safety at the same or a higher level will be a game changer and we in DNV GL are aiming to be at the forefront of this work.”

“The partnerships with important companies such as WSM, government agencies and universities as we have in this work, will enable us to further develop standards, services, solutions and relations which are important for us and our customers.”

WSM says that it expects to implement the safety management system and obtain a certified document of compliance by the end of 2019.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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