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The 'smart vessel' and the future of the maritime industry

Occasionally, maritime mishaps move into the spotlight of New York news, typically involving accidents offshore. And although technical accidents are often inevitable, any kind of machine-related operation can come with its fair share of risks. When it comes to the maritime industry, errors are possible, as with any other mode of transportation. In response to such accidents, will the future of offshore work keep up with the advancements made in everyday vehicles? 

Marine Insight, a website that informs and educates the public about the maritime industry, shares some common causes of work accidents on the water. A writer for MI found offshore oil rig mishaps to be one of the most common types of accidents, as this work requires heavy machinery with delicate components. If a worker disturbs or overlooks one of these complex components, the whole process can go awry--and can ultimately affect more areas than the one in which workers are involved. Human error is a major reason why many cruise vessels develop problems out at sea. Some workers find they cannot manage in extreme weather conditions; others wreck ships due to mere negligence. 

Regardless of the cause, it is evident that tugboats and other vessels in the maritime industry are no exception to tragic accidents. According to NBC News, however, there may be one path to a solution: that of robot ships. As the technological advancements in automobile travel continue, NBC reports that the same technologies aim to enhance the safety of boats by becoming better equipped to take on dangerous storms and other extremes. Driverless ships can come with other advantageous perks, as well, also promising economic stability. Leaders in this developing technology hope to see autonomous tugboats, cargo ships and other vessels follow suit in the near future. Will the 'smart vessel' prove to be an asset in the coming years? Some are uncertain, but experts in the field claim the advancements will bring more opportunities as well as safer environments to offshore workers.    

 

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