Autonomous shipping — an analysis of the maritime stakeholder perspectives

Theotokatos, Gerasimos and Dantas, Joao Lucas Dozzi and Polychronidi, Georgia and Rentifi, Georgia and Molica Colella, Marco (2023) Autonomous shipping — an analysis of the maritime stakeholder perspectives. WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs, 22 (1). pp. 5-35. ISSN 1651-436X (

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Several major initiatives have been undertaken worldwide towards the development and commercialisation of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASSs). This study aims at capturing the current understanding and perspectives of the maritime industry stakeholders pertinent to the challenges and requirements for the design and operation of MASSs. A methodological approach consisting of five steps is followed. A questionnaire is developed and employed to conduct two surveys among the identified maritime industry stakeholders. Subsequently, the acquired response results are analysed, whereas statistical metrics are calculated and comparatively assessed using the box plot method, to provide evidence for identifying the perspectives and gaps from the considered stakeholders’ groups. Recommendations are provided for addressing these gaps, whereas further initiatives required in the maritime industry are also highlighted. This study contributes to the better understanding on the perspectives of the maritime industry stakeholders, whereas the results can support the prioritisation of future initiatives towards addressing existing barriers and overcome misconceptions for the next-generation autonomous shipping.