Satellite industry representatives gathered at the SMM Hamburg maritime conference in Germany last month to discuss global communications services for use with autonomous marine vessels, Space News reported Thursday.
Gerbrand Schalkwijk, deputy president at Inmarsat‘s maritime business, said that customers are looking to have remote engine monitoring, IT support and electronic chart update functions in ships.
“Ultimately, when all these pieces come together, you get to a stage where more activities are not done on the ship anymore but can be managed remotely,” he added.
Some companies have been working on ship efficiency technologies that may support semi-autonomous and autonomous functions, the report noted.
Among these technologies is Inmarsat’s new Fleet Data service made to gather and transmit onboard vessel data to shore-based facilities.
The company unveiled this service at the event.