Shipping has certainly not been reluctant to make use of computers and IT despite many believing the industry is slow to take up new ideas. In shore offices, shipping companies make use of the same type of administrative software as most other organisations use. On-board ship, things may have progressed more slowly but this has been less a matter of choice and more due to the lack of affordable means of communicating between sea and shore.
Many systems on board ships from alarms to engine monitoring and diagnostics have embedded software and where this has been developed independently in each system over time, even integrating them into a ‘connected ship’ has not been easy. Regulation such as that relating to voyage data recording, ECDIS and bridge alarm management have introduced a need to improve system integration which in turn has opened up more possibilities. It has allowed the use of previously unobtainable data by specialist software such as the many voyage advisory and decision support products that have appeared over the last decade.
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