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posted by martyb on Tuesday December 05, @05:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the two-words:-rogue-wave dept.

ESA Director General Jan Wörner signed a Memorandum of Intent with Rolls-Royce today, as the two entities agree to investigate how space technology can be used to develop autonomous and remote-controlled ships.

The partners will pool their expertise to analyse and implement space-enabled services for autonomous and remote-controlled shipping, which reduces the opportunity for human error and allows crews to concentrate on more valuable tasks.

The plan is to study the applications of various space assets to autonomous shipping, such as satellite-based positioning, better situational awareness using Earth observation data, and satcom services for improved onboard connectivity.

The collaboration with the Rolls-Royce Ship Intelligence division aims to develop and validate new ship-to-shore integrated land-based and satellite-based systems solutions, which ESA has been working on for some time under its Satellite for 5G (S45G) initiative. S45G aims at developing and demonstrating integrated satellite- and terrestrial-based 5G services, across multiple vertical markets and various use cases.

They'll be alright until the Somalis get teenagers with laptops.


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  • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Tuesday December 05, @07:01AM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 05, @07:01AM (#605524)

    It was called "Speed 2: cruise control"

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @07:10AM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @07:10AM (#605526)

    Imagine a mass hack that plows hundreds of ships into a single port or shore. Could result in fires too big to control.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday December 05, @07:44AM (5 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 05, @07:44AM (#605536)

      Imagine a mass hack that plows hundreds of ships into a single port or shore. Could result in fires too big to control.

      Yeah, but then there'll be decades long jobs in scrap metal harvesting.
      You sure you are not interested? I kid you not, whoever manages to make it happen in the 'flyover country' gets the next presidential elections guaranteed.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @07:49AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @07:49AM (#605537)

        And there we have it, the bourgeois disdain for the poor.

        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday December 05, @09:30AM (3 children)

          by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday December 05, @09:30AM (#605561)

          Question from someone not sure of the exact meaning.. Are any of the "flyover states" actually on, or even near, a coast?

          --
          (Score: tau, Irrational)
          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday December 05, @02:51PM (1 child)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday December 05, @02:51PM (#605640)

            Surely they can fly those autonomous, remote-controlled ships over half of America, they'll be "space enabled", right?

            • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday December 05, @07:03PM

              by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday December 05, @07:03PM (#605759)

              And, if they land fast enough, it won't be scrap metal, it will be mining..

              --
              (Score: tau, Irrational)
          • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Tuesday December 05, @02:52PM

            by t-3 (4907) on Tuesday December 05, @02:52PM (#605642) Journal

            Of you count the great lakes, maybe, but I don't know what states are considered flyover.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday December 05, @02:29PM (3 children)

      by DannyB (5839) on Tuesday December 05, @02:29PM (#605633)

      I am imagining a hack that affects many ships and scrambles up their destinations. That way each destination port receives the expected number of ships. Imagine the ensuing chaos.

      Now combine this with hacking of the dock side loading software so that the wrong containers are randomly loaded onto the wrong ships. Also hack the dock side loading software so that all ships lean just slightly starboard and then get pictures of them all sailing out of port slightly leaning.

      If you sent many ships to a single port, it should be a port where the pirates live. Don't plow it into the shore, just run it aground for easy "harvesting" by the pirates. Fires that are too big to fail would make piracy more difficulter. Piracy on the high seize never will be so easy as when ships have no human cruise aboard.

      Oh, heck. Maybe also hack the ship unloading so that the containers are unloaded to the wrong semi trucks and rail cars and a problem is not discovered until the shipping containers reach their very final destinations.

      • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Tuesday December 05, @02:55PM (1 child)

        by t-3 (4907) on Tuesday December 05, @02:55PM (#605644) Journal

        Nah, just need to jam the Panama and Suez canals, maybe Sault St. Marie and any other major canals or bottlenecks. You can shut down the vast majority of the world's commerce with just a few sunken ships.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday December 05, @05:15PM

          by DannyB (5839) on Tuesday December 05, @05:15PM (#605711)

          That would have staggering implications if people could not get their latest shipment of iPhones.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @04:51PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @04:51PM (#605702)

        It wasn't a hack, it was a mal-fromed JSON, and very shitty error catching.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @07:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @07:56AM (#605539)

    According to the plot, when the human population has been reduced to a small number, autonomous shipping will be needed because there will be no humans left to run the ships.

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday December 05, @02:19PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) on Tuesday December 05, @02:19PM (#605629)

    Imagine fully automated cargo ships that can be hacked to guide themselves right to the pirate's doorstep. Piracy never was so easy. Not only can the cargo be "harvested" but so can parts of the ship. With a good enough hack, the ship owners wouldn't be aware of a problem until the cargo ship fails to show up at its destination.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @04:55PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 05, @04:55PM (#605704)

      Well, maybe they will put automated defence robots on those ships … oh, wait …

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