5. Safety of the vessel train concept

The NOVIMAR vessel train concept departs from the applicability of existing Rules and Regulations mainly regarding reduction of the crew size, remote control and vessel platooning. One of the main problems addressed within NOVIMAR is the way to account for the vessel train-related navigational and functional safety and security issues and the impact of the vessel train on human working conditions and skills.

NOVIMAR has developed dedicated methods allowing assessment of the safety and security levels of a vessel train operation. Performed analyses show that the vessel train may be operated safely within the operational limitations defined by the vessel train control system capabilities, crewing of the follower vessels, operational conditions on the fairway and individual technical features of the vessels in the train. To achieve a safe operation of vessel trains which relies highly on critical systems, related in particular to geolocalisation of the vessels, data transmission, on-board control systems as well as global monitoring and supervision, technical and management cyber measures are to be observed. These recommendations can be met through compliance of the vessel train with the requirements for the assignment of the additional class notation “Cyber secure”, according to Bureau Veritas Rule Note NR 659– Rules on Cyber Security for the Classification of Marine Units. The detailed results of the research related to safety and security of the vessel train operation are set out in document A.

NOVIMAR vessel train concept entails new human competences and working environment. Analysis of the human element in the vessel train operations, both in terms of potential source of failure and in terms of working conditions and required skills has been performed, resulting in the development of recommendations for optimized working conditions, human reliability and training needs. The outcomes of the human impact assessment can be found in document B.

The present regulation framework needs to be modified/adapted to allow integration of the vessel train concept specificities including the design, construction, equipment, and installation of the vessel train objects as well as the vessel train-related operation and human element aspects.

Document C contains recommendations to regulatory bodies and waterborne transportation operators defining modification needs for the current regulations and operational principles for a feasible vessel train concept and its future ruling.

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