Forecasting the Future

Stock Photo

Published Sep 8, 2015 3:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

Lloyd’s Register, QinetiQ and the University of Southampton are exploring what’s next for the shipping industry in a report titled Global Maritime Technology Trends (GMTT) 2030. As trade expands and technological innovation reshapes the industry, the report aims to aid business and policymakers to understand the future of shipping.

GMTT 2030 argues that the shape of the marine world in 2030 will depend on the interactions between peoples, economies and natural resources and examines a range of technologies with the potential to transform the maritime domain in the next 15 years. Specifically, the report identified 18 technologies with the greatest potential to be widely available and in demand by 2030.

Autonomous systems and robotics are among them: “A robot is capable of carrying out complex actions automatically. Assembly, collaboration with humans or machines, inspection, manipulation, and exploration are some examples of tasks that could be programmed into a robot,” the report states. Further, GMTT 2030 expects smart ships to be the industry standard in a decade and a half and anticipates that remote operations will soon be an industry norm.

The report does allow that while most of these advancements will improve shipping it could come at a cost:

“Technology, of course, is a double-edged sword and has the power to deliver great benefit, but can also introduce both direct and indirect threats to industries, states and economies. This needs to be considered alongside the discussion of each technology.”

Click here to read the full report.