Regulating Autonomous Ships—Concepts, Challenges and Precedents

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Henrik Ringbom
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Ocean Development and International Law
Volume number: 50
Issue number: 2
Start page: 141
End page: 169


The article seeks to contribute to the development of a conceptual

framework for the ongoing regulatory discussions on autonomous

ships at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It elaborates

on the distinction between the level of autonomy and the level of

manning and highlights the sliding scale that features in both.

Certain building blocks that are needed for regulating autonomous

ships are identified, followed by an assessment of how key existing

IMO rules deal with the challenges and an analysis of available

precedents. The conclusion is that the on-going exercise is unique,

almost without precedent, and that the work that has just started

at IMO, so far at least, fails to address the most important—and

complex—regulatory challenges.

Last updated on 2020-03-04 at 08:34