Fast Change Around Us-Drone Ships?


Driverless Cars had me thinking about behavioral (and cultural) changes.

Now this: “Driverless Cars, Meet Captainless Ships: Autonomous Vehicles To Take To The Sea

This actually makes more sense.

One would assume less traffic on the open sea. Ships move slow and straight which seems safer.

There are a few differences that are interesting. Maritime laws make “completely” autonomous ships illegal. For cars California plans on having the laws there before the cars. Driverless cars take away jobs indirectly (some lawyers, some part of the insurance industry, energy, etc.). Driverless ships take away jobs directly.

It turns out this autonomy will help since there is a labor shortage for shipping personnel (who must spend long stretches away from family and home). Driverless ships are, in a way, a solution. Although the few employees left on a ship will have to do the most menial of work while the interesting navigation and ship control will be done from shore (or by machine).

(Because I just can’t help looking at some change from a funny angle before I accept it: can you play chicken with a ship drone? Does it always “chicken out” so you could use a small boat to make it change directions willy-nilly?).

I am not sure what behaviors will change will this upgrade of drone ships to “driverless”, but could we get to a point where there are no drivers for anything that moves?

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