Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Maritime Affairs


Maritime Safety & Environmental Administration


Malmö, Sweden



First Advisor

Baldauf, Michael.


Driven by ambitious technological developments in automation, statistical figures illustrating that up to ninety per cent of maritime accidents are caused directly or indirectly by Human Element and last but not least by the aspiration to make shipping cos-effective, there are numerous ongoing research and technological developments to realize unmanned ships. In the light of those recent developments this dissertation studies if there is a necessity for changes of existing conventions when introducing unmanned ships into the current maritime transportation system. ’Unmanned ships’ is new trend and there are a lot of ongoing projects. However, there are still many topics to be solved. Among others, the dissertation focuses on survey schemes especially in respect to regulations of SOLAS Chapter V. Firstly, for the studies a clarifying definition of unmanned ships is developed through literature survey. A selection of recent projects dealing with unmanned ships is summarized and explained to understand the current situation of unmanned ships. Challenges and problems are identified for three sectors: technical, administrative/regulatory and operational. Secondly, the existing survey scheme is studied and challenges are identified through case studies. In particular, flag state survey, interval of surveys and PSC are analysed and potential solutions and approaches to overcome are developed and discussed. Thirdly, the applicability of SOLAS Chapter V regulations is considered and challenges are identified using specific scenario studies. Especially, definition of master, officer and crew, requirement of minimum manning and pilot services are discussed and potential solutions are drafted and explained. Lastly, conclusion of the dissertation is provided and recommendations for technology, legislation and operational aspects are given.

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Admiralty Commons