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Published: 2020-09-21

LR-NPL partnership on marine autonomy assurance

Technology LR-NPL partnership on marine autonomy assurance

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Lloyd's Register (LR) and the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have teamed up to advance the service and competence levels as regards autonomous shipping.

The two organisations will collectively establish and enhance the current body of knowledge for marine autonomy. "This combination of skills, expertise and experience will be built on to bring clarity to the requirements for the assurance of autonomy and assist stakeholders in realising the potential of these systems in the market. This will allow standards to be set and consistently applied and will therefore bring surety to risk management and certification for autonomous and unmanned systems and vessels," an LR-NPL press release reads.

The parties are working together to deliver a scope of services to the THEMIS Project, to demonstrate the feasibility for the world's largest ocean-going autonomous vessel, which is part funded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's (MPA) Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT) fund.

"This work represents an important part of the UK's national programme to deliver confidence in the intelligent and effective use of data, which is being conducted with a range of partners across sectors and with a specific focus on autonomous systems. NPL is applying a combination of measurement skills, expertise and experience, in areas as diverse as sensor characterisation, data quality and AI validation, to support partners in the development of new tests, standards and regulations for the safety of autonomous systems," Neil Stansfield, Head of Digital, NPL, said.

He also highlighted, "This collaboration with Lloyd's Register will help ensure the UK maintains its global leadership in the marine services sector, where the autonomous shipping sector is expected to represent a global $52bn market opportunity by 2050."

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