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Maritime Cyber Security

More than half of 6,000 seafarers who took part in a crew connectivity survey have had a part of their role automated over the last two years, and 98% of these seafarers are positive about the change.

The largest ever survey of seafarers to date revealed that nearly all who took part feel that technology and automation provide great opportunity to enhance their job roles and shipping operations. Roger Adamson, Futurenautics Maritime’s chief executive officer, who presented the results during the report’s launch in London this week, said that for the first time Futurenautics looked into the “weird and wonderful technology of the future that everyone talks about – robotics, automation, big data, analytics, unmanned ships,” these topics which had not been explored before.

Adamson explained that they first started talking to seafarers about automation levels. “53% of them came back and said we have had one or more components of our role automated within the last two years. That figure increased to 72% when we included officers.”

Maritime Cyber Security

The impact of automation on seafarers and officers’ roles proved to be positive, with the majority (98%) confirming it had helped rather than hindered them in their role at sea. Adamson also confirmed that automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and augmented/virtual reality, were viewed as opportunities by the majority of seafarers, rather than as threats, which came as a surprise to Futurenautics. According to Adamson, most saw these processes and technologies as a way to enhance the ability for crew to operate the vessel and do their jobs more efficiently.

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Maritime Cyber Security

Internet at sea ‘strongly influences’ 92% of seafarers’ job choice

An overwhelming 92% of seafarers now say that internet access “strongly influences” their decision on where to work, according to the latest Crew Connectivity 2018 Survey Report published by Futurenautics Maritime this week. This compares to a 75% figure reported in the last edition of the same survey in 2015.

Connectivity at sea is also now viewed by 95% of seafarers as having a positive effect on safety, compared to only 72% three years ago.

The latest survey, sponsored by KVH Industries and Intelsat, polled 6,000 serving seafarers for their views on a broad range of issues surrounding the digital transformation affecting shipping. Inter alia it found that some 75% of seafarers now use the internet at sea, 32% more than in the last survey.

In addition, 69% of respondents viewed the increasing use of big data and analytics as a positive opportunity for their jobs in the next five years, and only 17% as a threat.

Maritime Cyber Security

“It’s our belief that collaborating and sharing information can accelerate the pace of transformation in shipping and maritime, and begin to understand and solve big problems,” said Futurenautics chief executive Roger Adamson, explaining the rationale behind the survey.

The report’s findings show a change in mindset among seafarers regarding many aspects of connectivity. Among the key findings:

  • 92% of seafarers reported that Internet access strongly influences their decision on where to work, up from 78% in prior years.
  • 95% of seafarers view connectivity as having a positive effect on onboard safety, an increase of 72% since the 2015 survey.
  • 69% of respondents view the increasing use of big data and analytics as a positive opportunity for their jobs in the next five years, versus 17% who see it as a threat.

“This is an extremely exciting time for the maritime industry, as digitalization begins to transform ship operations and open up many opportunities to keep this industry vital,” notes Martin Kits van Heyningen,  KVH’s chief executive officer. “We are delighted to support this report, which reinforces the importance of connectivity and how it is changing the life of the individual seafarer.”

“This report further emphasizes the need and desire—from shipping crews to passengers—to have robust, flexible networks that enable always-on connectivity,” says Shane Rossbacher, Intelsat’s director of maritime product management. “We are gratified to see that global high throughput services have further enhanced the ability for ship operators to improve the lives of crew members by providing additional services and the ability to stay in touch with home as well as boost the efficiency of vessel operations.”