Unmanned marine vehicles will use sensors & AI to crisscross the world's oceans without a crew – potentially lowering costs & improving safety for the $334B shipping sector. Just as driverless cars and trucks are bringing huge changes to the auto industry, and drones are disrupting everything from emergency response to conservation, autonomous ships are becoming the next major transportation innovation. A number of startups and governments are piloting "unmanned marine vehicles" or crewless cargo boats, with the potential to disrupt the $334B shipping industry. Rolls-Royce already demonstrated the world's first remotely operated commercial vessel earlier this year, and the US military is testing an experimental, autonomous warship called the Sea Hunter. Fully autonomous ships aren't yet allowed in international waters.
Space attracts a lot of attention as an area of frontier tech investment and entrepreneurship, but there's another vast expanse that could actually be more addressable by the innovation economy -- Earth's oceans. Seafaring startups aren't attracting quite as much attention as their spacefaring cousins, but 2019 still saw a flurry of activity in this sector and 2020 could be an even big year for everything aquatic. One big similarity between space tech and seafaring opportunities is that data collection represents a significant percent of the potential market. Data collection in and around Earth's oceans has increased dramatically in recent years thanks to the availability, efficacy and cost of sensor technologies -- in 2017, it was estimated that as much ocean data had been gathered in the past two years as in all of human history. Ocean observation has largely been driven by scientific and research goals, which means there's bound to be a pretty hard cap on available funding.
Los Angeles – The bankruptcy of the Hanjin shipping line has thrown ports and retailers around the world into confusion, with giant container ships marooned and merchants worrying whether tons of goods will reach their shelves. The South Korean giant filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday and stopped accepting new cargo. With its assets being frozen, ships from China to Canada found themselves refused permission to offload or take aboard containers because there were no guarantees that tugboat pilots or stevedores would be paid. "Hanjin called us and said, 'We're going bankrupt and we can't pay any bills -- so don't bother asking,' " said J. Kip Louttit, executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, which provides traffic control for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's busiest port complex. Three Hanjin container ships, ranging from about 213 meters to 304 meters long, were either drifting offshore or anchored away from terminals on Thursday.
MARSEILLE, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Traxens, a company that provides high-value data and services for the supply chain industry, announces today that it is now part of the new European DataPorts project, aimed at creating a data platform for cognitive ports of the future. With a total budget of €6.7M ($7.3M), the three-year project will receive €5.7M ($6.2M) from the European Union. It is coordinated by the Technological Institute of Informatics (ITI) in Spain. Today, only three per cent of container terminals are automated. However, the future of the industry points towards smart ports as the best way to overcome the challenges and demands that arise in the sector.