Stakeholder Risk Perceptions concerning Marine Autonomous Systems as a basis for Integrated Marine Risk Governance

Context, objectives and scope

Autonomous Marine Vehicles (AMVs) are increasingly used as a means of collecting ocean data, monitoring ecosystems, and performing marine safety related or environmental protection tasks. Simultaneously, significant efforts are dedicated internationally towards the development of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). Enabled through rapid technological advancements in increased digitalization, wireless interconnectivity, and related data collection and analytics capacities, increased automation is widely seen as one of the most significant drivers for change in the maritime industries. The interest in the prospects of MASS in industry, regulatory, and academic contexts is significant.

While much work focuses on technical developments and discussions on legal, economic, and safety and security implications, there has been less focus and discussion on the role of different societal actors in the decision-making processes concerning the conceptualization, design, and operational implementation of these future vessels. Furthermore, little is known about the public perceptions of risk of such vessels, whereas it can be expected that these may important in developing inclusive and equitable future maritime transportation systems.

Research questions

  1. What risk governance processes are appropriate for different degrees of automation in MASS?
  2. What risk perceptions do societal stakeholders associate with MASS?