On the road to Autonomous Maritime Transport: A conceptual framework to meet training needs for future ship operations

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Gholam Reza EmadSaratkumar NarayananAditi Kataria

Abstract: Accelerating towards an autonomous future, the maritime transport industry is going through a phase of rapid digitalization and automation. Novel technologies and complex tools, that substitute human functions, are increasingly introduced on board modern ships. However, experiences from other industries show that introducing complex technologies in the workplace without due consideration of the human factors can often lead to disastrous consequences. Traditionally, seafarers developed their competencies through authentic participation in shipboard activities, under the guidance of experienced seniors. However, with digitalization, various tasks are getting internalized, leaving no clues about the inner workings to an onlooker, and this in turn, is adversely affecting their learning opportunities. Studies also show that in a technology-rich workplace, the limited number of human operators overseeing multiple, complex tasks, can cause job intensification, operator’s cognitive overload, error in judgment, and costly accidents. The recent investigation reports of many maritime accidents point to the improper use of technology as among the major causal factors. This underscores the need for re-addressing cognitive human factor and competency development of seafarers, relevant to the use of modern technology and human-machine interactions. In this book chapter, we propose the use of theoretical framework of Quasi-Community (QC) to better understand the context and prepare the seafarers to interact, learn, adapt, and develop new competencies for their technology-rich workplace. With its fluid, dynamic, decentralized hierarchy, and shared expertise as a common resource, we argue that the concept of QC will make an ideal framework that can facilitate the creation of a supportive learning environment for transitioning and future seafarers.

Keywords: Autonomous Shipping, MASS, Competence, Seafarers, Maritime Education and Training, Quasi-Communities

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002500

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