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Focus area E3: Developing stakeholder relationships

Case study: Autonomous Vessel Forum

Delegates at the inaugural Autonomous Vessel Forum in Canberra A photo of the delegates at the Autonomous Vessel Forum held in Canberra. The photo shows the delegates gathered outside the National Museum of Australia
On 19–20 September 2019, AMSA, in partnership with the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS DCRC), held the inaugural Autonomous Vessel Forum. This forum was the first of its kind in Australia, with 135 delegates representing a range of sectors including law, defence, science, design and technology.

The use of remotely operated and autonomous technology is on the rise in Australia, with autonomous vessels currently used in oceanography, hydrography, the off-shore oil and gas industry as well as scientific research. The increase in autonomous vessels presents new technology to regulate, and poses new opportunities as well as challenges to AMSA. The Autonomous Vessels Forum provided an excellent opportunity for both regulators and stakeholders to collaborate and provide input into the direction of autonomous technology use and regulation in Australia.

Captain Marko Rahikainen from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency attended from Helenski, Finland to deliver the keynote address and share insights into the Finnish intention to have a wholly sustainable transport system by 2030, with autonomous technology key to its realisation.

Presentations were delivered by government and industry stakeholders including ABB Marine & Ports, iXBlue, OCIUS Technology, NSW Ports, Royal Australian Navy, Guardian Geomatics, CSIRO Energy, Austal Ltd, Svitzer Australia, HamiltonJet, Woodside Energy, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, University of Queensland, TAS DCRC and AMSA. A range of topics were covered such as industry developments and innovation in Australia, regulating autonomous and remotely operated vessels in national waters and assurance in automation.

A key outcome of the Autonomous Vessels Forum was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between AMSA and TAS DCRC to promote collaboration and trust in order to ensure assurance in maritime automation.