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Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships Survey

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The maritime sector has had its fair share of disruptive evolutions, which have changed the role of the sailor. Today, the maritime sector has a general trend of moving towards vessel automation. Maritime stakeholders are investing in research to increase levels of automation in maritime surface vehicles, and this evolution is likely to result in a form of ‘autonomous sailing’, although currently it remains unclear to what extent. 

The potential risks of automation contradict the prediction that autonomous shipping will eliminate human error. Therefore, it is vital that the nautical knowledge derived from centuries of sailing is utilized within the development of  autonomous shipping.

This is why the University of Antwerp and the Antwerp Maritime Academy are initiating this research project to study the behavior of the OOW with interactions of manned/unmanned vessels, and to outline their future of training. 
We believe that this research is affecting all of us and that it is important that your opinion as end users is considered in order to preserve maritime safety. Therefore we ask for a moment of your time to help us conduct our research on the potential future of the Collision Avoidance Regulations (COLREGs) with the implementation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).
This survey focuses on capturing the perspective of the ship operator, specifically Licensed Deck Officers, Pilots, and VTS Operators.
This survey is anonymous and takes 15-20 minutes to complete.
Thank you for your participation, as your professional expertise is paramount to our research. Please feel free to also distribute this survey to other maritime professionals.


Elspeth Hannaford and Pieter Maes


  • Ms. Elspeth Hannaford, is a USCG Licensed Chief Officer and former Assistant Professor at the State University of New York Maritime College and Commander in the United States Navy Reserves.
  • Pieter Maes actively sailing Chief Officer.


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