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Perception of Autonomy and the Role of Experience within the Maritime Industry

Lookup NU author(s): Jevon Chan, Dr David GolightlyORCiD, Dr Rosemary NormanORCiD, Dr Kayvan Pazouki



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The seafaring occupation will soon evolve as human operators transition to a more supervisory role for autonomous systems onboard. Therefore, gaining a greater understanding of the mindset that officers have towards the world of autonomy will aid the maritime industry by developing a baseline for future navigational training. This paper examines the perceptions and attitudes of 100 navigational seafaring participants of varying navigational ranks and levels of seagoing experience. The aim of the study was to identify the perceptions and self-conscious trust that current seafarers have towards automated and future autonomous systems. Participants were issued a situational judgement test comprising of three questions, allowing them to assess and respond to a hazardous scenario. The results of the study found that seafarers are receptive towards the introduction of autonomous shipping. Furthermore, the participants showed an awareness of what autonomous shipping would mean for the maritime industry. However, concerns remain about the responsibility and safety of the vessel in the event of the introduction of an unmanned vessel. Moreover, when comparing opinions and trust levels among the cohort of ranks, it was found that participants of a higher rank had a similar outlook towards autonomy to that of the less experienced groups.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chan J, Golightly D, Norman R, Pazouki K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

Year: 2023

Volume: 11

Issue: 2

Print publication date: 01/02/2023

Online publication date: 21/01/2023

Acceptance date: 19/01/2023

Date deposited: 22/01/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2077-1312

Publisher: MDPI


DOI: 10.3390/jmse11020258

Notes: This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Navigation and Safety at Sea


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