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Just as artificial intelligence and autonomy promise in other applications, it is expected that
autonomous ships can improve safety, increase efficiency, and relieve humans from unsafe
and repetitive tasks.
According to a study by Allianz, between 75% and 96% of maritime accidents are caused by
human error. If autonomous and semi-autonomous systems can help reduce the reliance on
humans that can make mistakes due to fatigue or bad judgment, autonomous ships could
eventually make our oceans safer. Even if a crew is on board, the data gathered from the
ship’s sensors combined with artificial intelligence algorithms will help the crew make better-
A reduction or elimination of crew reduces the personnel and auxiliary costs (such as onboard
provisions and insurance) on a voyage. Typically, crew-related expenses account for 30% of
the budget. There are also efficiencies realized in ship design and use of fuel. One study
projected savings of more than $7 million over 25 years per autonomous vessel from fuel
savings and crew supplies and salaries.
Benefits of Autonomous Ships