The maritime press has presented two recent projects on unmanned ship remotely controlled. Rather than drone on about these notions, I will say why I believe them quite technologically possible and feasible but practically unworkable. I can think of some immediate reasons why these are the cases and can also think of another technology which is a much greater threat to shipping as a whole. Both drone technology and the other threat are long-term and not immediate concerns. Nothing in shipping happens overnight. We must recall that the ship cycle is 20-25 years from newbuilding and that the electronic cycle, while interesting, still has not met the test of cost of maintenance required for commercial service.
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