ClassNK and Sompo Japan begin autonomous vessel risk assessment project

Classification society ClassNK reports that it has begun a joint investigative research programme in partnership with Sompo Japan Insurance to carry out risk assessments for the operation of autonomous ships.

With demonstration projects having already been implemented in Japan and guidelines developed by the government, the class society notes that the creation of a framework for safety evaluation is already underway within the country.

As a verification body for ensuring ship safety, it is incumbent upon ClassNK to conduct research and development into safety standards for autonomous operations technologies. As such the organisation is involved in efforts in cooperation with the government, research institutes, and other corporate bodies.

Within that context, Sompo Japan and ClassNK have begun joint investigative research on risk assessment for autonomous ships, utilising the Society’s maritime expertise and Sompo Japan’s knowledge of risks associated with ship operation and management based on underwriting ship insurance.

The project will also draw on Sompo Japan’s experience in risk assessment for the practical application of autonomous vehicles already carried out by SOMPO Risk Management Inc.

The research programme began in February 2021 and the partners aim to announce the results next year.

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Rob O'Dwyer

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