Addressing Unmanned Maritime Systems
Regulatory and Perceptional Issues
4 September 2014
Rand LeBouvier, PhD
 Background and current status of International
Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972
(COLREGS) affecting unmanned maritime systems
 Efforts and initiatives toward Certification of the systems
as well as addressing Liability and Insurance
 The UNCLOS III treaty and its potential effects of future
development and use of unmanned systems
 Perceptional issues that could impede the beneficial use
of unmanned systems
 USCG Presents a Task To NAVSAC
 NAVSAC Develops a Resolution
 Coast Guard Reviews/Agrees Resolution
 U.S. Gov’t (Ideally along With Other Gov’ts)
Develops Proposal For Amending COLREGS For
Submission To IMO
 IMO Approves/Adopts/Implements the Proposal
 Timeframe = 3 To 3-1/2 Years
 For Inland Rules Changes, USCG Initiates
Rulemaking (APA) Process
Source : DHS/USCG presentation to AUVSI 9 AUG 2012
UMS and COLREGS: Background
 On 10 December 2008, NAVSEA briefed the Navigation Safety Advisory
Committee (NAVSAC) regarding ASTM Subgroup F41.05 activities and
characteristics of USV and UUVs.
 In the Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 74 / Monday, April 18, 2011, Notice
indicated that under NAVSAC Task 08–07 Autonomous Unmanned Vessels,
the Council would continue its discussion of autonomous unmanned vessels
and discuss their implications for the Inland Navigation Rules.
 In NAVSAC Resolution 11-02 under Task Statement 08-07, NAVSAC made its
first formal recommendation to the USCG.
 In NAVSAC Resolution 12-08, and Task Statement 12-03, NAVSAC
recommended that discussions be placed on hold until the April 2013 meeting.
 At the April 2013 meeting, NAVSAC recommended that discussions should
continue and that more information from industry and the US Navy would be
 At the December 2013 meeting, the U.S. Navy, NOAA, AUVSI and Teledyne
Marine Systems briefed. Previous resolutions were tabled in favor of
The Latest
 At the 11-12 June 2014 meeting of the NAVSAC its was determined there
needs to be discussion regarding the “break points” for the categorization of
unmanned systems.
 The discussions are not meant to change the Rules of the Road, but to see if
they can be applied to unmanned vehicles.
 Publishing a set of best practices is a favorable step, even though best
practices are not enforceable.
 A new task statement will be presented at the next NAVSAC meeting.
The Lozman Case
“. . . a structure does not fall within the scope of the statutory phrase unless
a reasonable observer, looking to the home’s physical characteristics and
activities, would consider it designed to a practical degree for carrying
people or things over water.”
 Changes to existing COLREGS, if any, need not be extensive. Rules
should account for size, speed, and ability to control.
 Coordination of worldwide industry input for orderly submission of
consolidated position, to prevent undue burden on USCG.
 Coordination of consolidated position with NAVSAC/USCG and IMO to
arrive at workable recommended changes to COLREGS and general
safety requirements and procedures.
The Way Ahead
 Presentation/demonstration across the Unmanned
Maritime Vehicle (UMV) portfolio to NAVSAC (complete)
 Build consolidated position with key maritime partners
 Industry Analysis, Sharing and Collaboration, assistance
with Best Practices
 Enable NAVSAC Final Resolution
 Develop Best Practices and (if possible) Joint IMO
 For Industry, AUVSI take lead in advancing the progress
to date via the Maritime Advocacy Committee, COLREGS
 The Safety and Regulations for Unmanned Maritime Systems (SARUMS)
group at the European Defence Agency (EDA) is a three year effort that has
recently completed. Seven European countries are represented, under the
chair of Magnus Örnfeldt of the Swedish Defence materiel administration
 SARUMS is preparing a Best Practice Guidance document, including
definitions, safety/hazard analyses and appendixes. SARUMS is also tasked
to address the IMO with suggestions on how to adapt the COLREGs to
recognize UMS. This task is currently with Sweden.
 Two related studies are approved by the EDA:
• Collision avoidance technologies and policies for UMS (ongoing)
• Liability for UMS (request for tenders to be released)
 Unmanned civilian shipping initiatives are being undertaken, notably from the
EU research project MUNIN. MUNIN is suggesting land based Shipping
Control Centres as a means for surveillance and control.
SARUMS Mission
Sponsored by the European Defense Agency to investigate anything that
might contribute to:
 Personnel Injury
 Damage to Equipment
 Damage to the Environment, and
 Loss
This means that they wish to consult and provide input to:
 COLREGS (regulations for prevention of collisions at sea)
 UNCLOS III (United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea)
 LLMC (Legal Limitation of Maritime Claims)
 Naval Ship Code (NATO)
 MARPOL (Regulations on Maritime Pollution)
 IMO (International Maritime Organization)
SARUMS Areas of Interest
 Vehicle design
 Vehicle operations
 Vehicle handling/launch and recovery systems
 Vehicle storage and transport systems
 Manufacturer and Operator liability and
 Insurance availability
 Training requirements
 Certification and testing requirements
 Vehicle and owner registration requirements
ABS Mission
“The mission of ABS is to serve the public
interest as well as the needs of our clients by
promoting the security of life and property and
preserving the natural environment”
ABS Focus Areas for AUVS
Pressure Vessels
External Structures
Emergency Recovery
Ballast Systems
Emergency Surfacing
Propulsion and Steering
Control Systems
Emergency Location
Mechanical and Electrical Systems
UNCLOS III: Three major issues…
Verification of Continental Shelf limits
• The retreat of ice reveals new opportunities, and concerns
Transfer of Technology provisions
Deep Seabed Mining provisions

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