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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday November 05 2016, @12:06AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-a-boat-pirates dept.

In January, the British firm Automated Ships and its Norwegian partners Kongsberg Maritime will begin work on the first offshore vessel that can be run with no captain, crew, or engineers.

The ship, named the Hrönn, is being designed as an offshore support vessel capable of delivering cargo to remote locations, launching and retrieving unmanned submersible craft, and acting as a resupply vessel for North Sea oil rigs. It will be launched next year and, pending successful sea trials, will be certified for offshore use the following year.

"The advantages of unmanned ships are manifold, but primarily center on the safe-guarding of life and reduction in the cost of production and operations; removing people from the hazardous environment of at-sea operations and re-employing them on-shore to monitor and operate robotic vessels remotely; along with the significantly decreased cost in constructing ships, will revolutionize the marine industry," said Automated Ships MD Brett Phaneuf.

The shipping industry is keener than its automotive cousins to get robot ships running commercially. The industry has been revolutionized by containers, which slashed the cost of shipping goods, and is now hoping for similar savings by taking humans out of the equation, or helping to augment them.

Sigh. There goes your bright future at sea.


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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Snotnose on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:13AM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:13AM (#422699)

    It would save more money to automate the loading/unloading of ships. Dockworkers make an obscene amount of money for what they do, and they seem to like going on strike every few years.

    Notice how I can rail about H1-Bs taking my job, but blissfully claim AI should take dockworkers jobs. Being able to hold both viewpoints in my head is what makes me an American :)

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  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:30AM (#422702)

    On the contrary, drone ships provide job opportunities for recent veterans who never saw real combat, because they worked as video game console operators and bombed brown people on another continent while staying safely out of harm's way themselves.

    Stargate ran an episode about how using remote controlled unmanned drones against manned targets is immoral and the people engaging in remote drone warfare are war criminals worse than Hitler. O'Neill slammed the iris in their faces when he found out what they were doing.

    Of course that was fiction. In reality we call war criminals Americans.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:56AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @01:56AM (#422709)

    If the government decided to put dockworkers out of work by setting up a program to import cheap foreigners, and then exempt those workers from labor laws, there would be riots.

    People getting put out of work by robots just frees up those people to do other productive work. Work that can be done by robots should be done by robots. Work that can only be done by people should be done on a level playing field.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday November 05 2016, @02:09AM

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday November 05 2016, @02:09AM (#422714) Journal

      other productive work

      Prostitution, drug dealing, and subsistence farming.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @04:34AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 05 2016, @04:34AM (#422743)

        Sounds like my resume. You hiring?