Use of the geospatial technologies and its implications in the maritime transport and logistics
All the shipping industry and also ship building (shipyards) are under a complex process of digital transformation (DT), and so are the maritime ports as part of this logistic chain of significant importance.
This paper aims to review the successive information technology (IT)-based generations that impacted the maritime transport and logistics (computer-based optimization of transport routes; use of intelligent sensors and IoT; position monitoring by using geospatial technologies and databases; intelligence-based decisions), to identify their main features, and to propose an autonomous vessel-port management system that can be implemented in the future. The role of the geographic information system (GIS) is emphasized – as GIS-based electronic route optimization that allows ships to follow new paths and deliver goods in the most economical and efficient way; GIS-based location precision with the use of on board and ashore GIS-based sensors (electro-optics, remote sensing, LiDAR).
The shipping digitalisation process is heading towards a totally autonomous and at the same time safe and reliable ship. Complete autonomy could be reached by adjoining artificial-intelligence controlled systems designed to navigate and operate the ship and that are equipped with sensing and analysis tools, situational awareness, planning, and control capabilities. The Vessel Traffic System (VTS) of the future needs innovative technologies and methodologies to be developed. The desired systems will automatically collect and process data with high precision, will provide input to decision-making systems, and suggest evasive maneuver; to deal with hazards and systems failure without human intervention onboard. The use of new technologies comes with new types of risks specific to maritime transportation and seaports (spoofing, data manipulation, cyber-attacks etc.) The implications of the findings are important for all stakeholders involved in maritime transport and associated logistics (seaports).
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