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UAE MoEI discusses challenges and future insights for autonomous shipping

Virtual group e-seminar of key participants. (Image source: MoEI)

The UAEs Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) has organised a virtual forum titled ?The Future of Autonomous Vessels in Maritime Shipping? to discuss the challenges for autonomous shipping in the region

It was a part of the activities held during the innovation month, held under the theme ?UAE Innovates 2022?Representatives from various sectors of the regional and global maritime industry such as A-Navigation, have tackled developing autonomous vessel technologies worldwide.

Speakers discussed the need to empower maritime operations and ensure efficient port management with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and new technologies. They also discussed the advantages of autonomous vessels from the operations, environment and safety perspectives, the added value of such ships to the industry as well as the accompanying challenges, especially in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shipping sector. 

HE Eng. Hassan Mohammed Juma Al-Mansoori, under-secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Affairs, MoEI said, ?At the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, we promote the UAE leadership?s objective of adopting digital solutions and keeping pace with the latest global developments, especially in the maritime sector. These efforts have contributed to enhancing the UAE?s global competitiveness in the sector.

"The country ranks third globally in transport services trade and the Bunker Supply Index. Our ports are among the top 10 internationally, in terms of container handling capacity. We were pleased with the participation seen in this forum that discussed the latest developments and key challenges in autonomous and remote-controlled ship technologies, and their role in ensuring uninterrupted supply of vital goods, especially during global crises. The Ministry seeks to cooperate with the relevant bodies and organisations to develop legislation and laws that regulate the design, construction and operation of such vessels, while also ensuring their suitability for the marine environment.?

The UAE has more than 20 leading international seaports and some of the largest oil export ports in the world. Abu Dhabi Ports is collaborating with Robert Allan Ltd., to develop the world?s first fully unmanned autonomous commercial marine tugs. These vessels will join SAFEEN, Abu Dhabi Ports? maritime service arm to increase efficiency and enhance operational safety.