Remote Assistance and Condition Monitoring

In the modern connected world, we are used to having instant access to advice on virtually any topic under the sun. What the online world had made possible is truly astounding and something earlier generations may have dreamed about but never seriously thought they would experience.

In shipping, the direction that is taking is towards a future of remote monitoring of equipment and systems so as to better control maintenance and performance, probably followed later by full remote management of assets. Some might see a further step with fully autonomous ships but that is not a vision that is shared by all.

Almost no ship that is fitted with an engine or other machinery has not experienced an equipment failure at some time. Redundancy may permit a ship to progress at a slower rate but often there will be a need for immediate human intervention. On an autonomous ship that would not be an option. On a crewed ship, the question as to whether the intervention is by a fully qualified chief engineer or by a less experienced technician guided from shore is one that has yet to play out.

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