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Maritime UK has launched an updated version of the Code of Practice for Maritime Autonomous Ship Systems (MASS) – which includes a new chapter on cyber security.

The Maritime UK Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group (MASRWG) published its first code of practice in November 2017 – and has since updated it annually.

Previous versions focused on the design and manufacture of vessels, the operation of autonomous vessels, and a particular focus on skills and training. Last year’s updated version added a section on inland waterways and the principles that should underpin the design, manufacture, and operation of autonomous vessels.

Now, according to Maritime UK, the 2020 edition ushers in a new focus on ‘ship systems’ as well as adding chapters on cyber security, pilotage, dynamic positioning, and vessel data recording.

James Fanshawe, the MASRWG Chair, commented: ‘The Maritime Autonomous Ship Systems industry continues to develop very fast. Version 4 of the Code of Practice provide guidelines which enable that development to continue in a safe, efficient, and sustainable way within the general order of the existing regulatory framework for life at sea. There are a number of new elements and updates to this version of the Code, including a chapter on Cyber Security. The working group has worked hard to deliver this version of guidance, ensuring we are all able to keep pace with global developments.’

Harry Theochari, Chair of Maritime UK, added: ‘The UK is renowned for its professional services expertise and in cutting-edge innovation. Thought-leadership in disruptive technologies and the way in which they should be regulated is therefore something that we excel in, and I’m delighted that the MASRWG has continued to produce the most innovative guidance available across the world. This coupled with our genuinely world-leading marine autonomy industry makes the UK an incredibly attractive proposition in this very exciting and dynamic part of our sector. Autonomy continues to change the way we live and work, and I commend the working group for making sure those that need it have robust, leading guidance to own and operate MASS.’

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