An important requirement for autonomous ships will be the ability to safely interact with other shipping. For this they need to be equipped with sensors and algorithms to detect and evaluate traffic situations and to make correct and safe decisions in accordance with the governing rules.
Eventually these systems have to proof themselves at sea in different situations. However, tests at sea are costly to organize, repeatability is not guaranteed and environmental conditions cannot be controlled. Fast-time simulation based tests, on the other hand, do not suffer from these drawbacks. Repeatability can be guaranteed, environmental conditions can be accurately controlled and with a proper setup (and sufficient computer hardware) a significant number of scenarios can be evaluated in a relatively short time. This makes simulated tests not only effective but thorough as well. An important requirement is that the simulation models for the maritime environment, the ship(s) and its equipment represent the reality sufficiently accurate and that the evaluation system is effective in determining the safety level of the interaction with other ships.
The objectives of this project are to jointly develop:
- criteria for safe and COLREGs and inland rules compliant behaviour;
- a methodology to create a set of representative and distinctive scenarios;
- requirements for a simulation environment to evaluate these scenarios.