Integrated Planning for safe and efficient maritime autonomous transport operations
Authors: Kay Fjørtoft, Even Holte, Trine Stene, Lone Sletbakk Ramstad
Abstract: Introducing new technology and autonomy into the supply chain are expected to result in more efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly transport operations. Autonomy is likely to change the transport operations, and especially the way of planning. There will likely come new threats, unfamiliar events, and new types of incidents, and the rapid pace of technological and societal change creates a strong need for new competence and work practices. This to exploit the benefits of the new technology, without operating at an unacceptable risk level. In this paper we elaborate on the different planning needs and what will be important for a successful implementation of Integrated Planning for Autonomous transport operations (IPA). The IPA is a suited framework when planning and addressing the resilience perspective, in addition to identify criticality within the transport system when new technology is introduced. This knowledge forms an important basis for decisions about which measures should be implemented when introducing IPA.A new challenge associated with autonomous technologies is the realisation of new ways of planning, working and collaborate in a transport system. This requires new routines and practices. Hence, the authors introduce Integrated Planning for Autonomous transport operations (IPA), as a framework towards successful implementation of autonomy into the transport system. The procedures for conventional planning must be changed from being a human based process, to a scenario where the collaboration between humans and technology will become stronger. IPA is based on the Integrated Planning and Logistics (IPL) that initially developed for the offshore petroleum industry in a previous Norwegian research centre (The Centre for Integrated Operations) and is based on the concept of IO (Integrated Operations), where principles of integrating people, work processes, and technology was developed for the purpose of making smarter decisions and achieve better execution. This enabled by real-time data, collaborative techniques, and sharing of expertise across disciplines, organisations, and geographical locations (Ramstad et al., 2013). When working with autonomy it will be important to understand the threats along the value chain, to identify different barriers, and to plan for actions if something differs from plan. Increasingly, automation is being implemented in vessels and infrastructure (e.g. at ports and terminals), and it is therefore important to consider the impact of an even more widespread use of such advanced technology across the whole transport chain. Thus, resilience is of high importance for being able to prepare and plan for the unknown, what can happen, how to enter back to normal or adapt to changed premises if something deviates from a plan (Fjørtoft et al 2021). This also requires an integration of plans across the value chain, also covering different planning stages and geographical areas. However, increased digital transformation and exchange of real-time data may lead to increased brittleness. For example, studies of cyber resilience of ship information systems, indicate that the increasing use of remote-controlled autonomous technology used on ships today will likely leads to an increase in worldwide new types of cyber attacks (Onishchenko et al., 2022). Zhou et al. (2019) examined sea transport from a resilience perspective. They tried to improve safety based on comprehensive risk assessment at the theoretical and operational levels concerning the specificity of water transport (Stene et al. 2021). Moreover, the current transport domain experiences a lack of coordination between different organisations, technologies, and transport operations. Execution of activities are often sub-optimal, in addition to difficult to prioritise in case of conflicts of interests. One main challenge in this context is that changes to plan often results in a win - lose situation, where the consequences of a change are not addressed to all involved stakeholders. Weak planning may affect inefficient utilisation of means as example.
Keywords: Maritime transport, Autonomous solutions, Integrated Planning, Situational Awareness, Operational Envelopes, Safety, Resilience, Humans in the loop.
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