- With remote-controlled and autonomous ship technology implementation on the horizon, regulators and insurers are citing a need for global cooperation is establishing universal regulations, Splash 247 reported.
- While previously the existing technology controlled ships only about 10 meters long, the Rolls-Royce company has begun proposing development of a 500 gross register tonnage (grt), thus prompting heightened discussions about the necessary framework.
- One of the main concerns about expanding the technology is the lack of a human presence to take control of an autonomous vessel, should potential harm appear eminent. Further, with crew costs currently already so low, the need for crewless ships is not a huge cost-savings measure.
Shipping isn't the only industry where regulations must catch up with tech. Amazon took its drones to the UK in December to test out yet another delivery, citing the snail-like pace of U.S. regulation permission for the unmanned aerial technology. The Trump administration's ban on new regulations is a sign that rules are loosening, particularly as more than 300 waivers for drone use have recently been granted to companies including Union Pacific, BNSF Railway and Intel.
But are they loosening fast enough? While the UK does have a more permissive attitude toward drones, the practical factors behind why are impactful. Not only is video surveillance common throughout much more of the country, but its smaller size and more unified rule of law makes for a more accepting environment.
Technology experts within the UK see American privacy laws preventing the speedy approval of drone deliveries as part of a tendency toward complacency and foot dragging, adding that regulations are holding innovation back.